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CENTRE 
for 

REFORMATION 
and 

RENAISSANCE 

STUDIES 

VICTORIA 
UNIVERSITY 

T 0 R 0 N T 0 



Representative English Comedies 

FRObI THE BEGINNINGS 
"ro 
SHAKESPEARE 



REPRESENTATIVE 
COMEDIES 

ENGLISH 

WITH INTRODUCTORY ESSAYS AND NOTES 
AN HISTORICAL VIEW OF OUR EARLIER COMEDY 
IND OTHER IIIONOGRAPHS 
BY VARIOUS IVRITERS 

UNDER THE GENERAL EDITORSHIP OF 
CHARLES MILLS GAYLEY, LTT.D., 
Professor of the English Language and Literature 
in the Univerffty of California 

LL.D. 

FROM THE BEGINNINGS 
TO 
SHAKESPEARE 

N k : 
THE MACMILLAN COMPANY. 
I.,ONDON: MACMILLAN & CO. I.,'rl. 
x96 
111 rtgb¢l reser'ed. 



COPYRIGHT, 1903, 
Er THE MAt_.III.LAN CO.IPANY. 

et up, electrotyped, ad pubIished Match. 9o 3. 

Noruood, Mass., U. . q. 



PREFACE 

"' Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no 
more .cakes and aie . . . nor ginger hot i' the mouth ?' Or 
knowest hot that while man, casting the dice with Fate and Mis- 
tress Grundy, imagineth a new luck, there shall be new comedy ? 
Vh),, then, reprint these oid ?" 
In part, because the comedies of a nation are for literature as 
well as for the footlights, and literature, in most cases, begins after 
the footlights are out. In part, because old comedies make good 
reading, hot only for loyers of fiction and the stage, but for the 
»tudent of society and the historian. Until rival forms of literary 
,rt began to usurp their function, comedies were--in England, hot 
o speak of other and older lands--the recognized and cherished 
exponent of the successive phases of contemporary lire. For us 
they still are living sketches of the social manners, morals, vanities, 
and ideals of generations of our ancestors ; history " unbeknownst" 
as written by contemporaries. Unfortunatel),, man), of these old 
comedies are inaccessible to the public ; and, therefore, we venture 
to hope that the general reader ma), find such a collection as the 
present acceptable, whether he care to enter upon a historical and 
technical study of the subject or hot. 
To the student of literary history, however, this series will, we 
trust, justif), its existence for quite another reason. For the aim 
of this volume and those which will follow is to indicate the 
development of a literar), t),pe by a selection of its representative 
specimens, arranged in the order of their production and accom- 



panied by critical and historicai studies. So little has been scien- 
tificall), determined concerning evolution or permutation in literature 
that the more specific the field of inquiry, the more trustworthy 
are the results attained,--hence the limitation of this research hot 
merely to a genus like the drama, but to one of its species. What 
is here presented to the public diV}rs from histories of the drama in 
that itis more restricted in scope and that if substantiates the nar- 
rative of a literarv growth b" reproducing the data necessary to an 
induction; it differs from editions of individuai plays and drama- 
tists, on the other hand, because it attempts to concatenate its texts 
by a running commentary upon the characteristics of the species 
under consideration as they successively appear. Itis an illustrated, 
if hOt certified, hi»tory of English comedv. 
The plavs, in this series cailed representative, have been chosen 
primarily for their importance in the histor" of comedy, generally 
also for their iiterary quality, and, when possible, for their practical, 
dramatic, or histrionic value. Of the studies accompanying them, 
some are special, such as those dealing with the severai authors and 
plays; some general, the monographs upon groups or movements, 
and the sketch introductory to the volume. The essae prefatory 
to a play includes, when possible, an outline of the dramatist's lire, a 
concise history of his contribution to comedy, with reference, when 
appropriate, to his productions in other fields, an estimate of his 
output in its relation to the national, social, literary, and technical 
deveiopment of the type in question, and to such foreign more- 
ments and influences as may be cognate, and, finally, an exposition 
and criticism of the play presented. By the insertion in proper 
chronologicai position of occasional monographs, it is intended to 
represent minor dramatists or groups of the saine school, period, or 
movement,--sometimes, indeed, an author of exceptionai impor- 
tance,- in such a way that the historical continuity of the species 



Preface vii 

may be as evident in its minor manifestations as in the better 
known. The general introductions to these volumes wili usuaiiv 
attempt to disct.ss matters of historical interest hot covered by 
the editors or special portions of the work. It has been necessary, 
therefore, L,; open the series, in this book, with an historical view 
of the beginnings of comedy in England. "*Vhile the various con- 
tributors to the enterprise have exercised their individual preferences 
in matters of literary treatment, judgment, and style, the general 
editor has attempted to secure the requisite degree of uniformitv by 
requesting each to conform so far as his taste and historical con- 
science might permit to a common but elastic outline of method 
previously prepared. If the attempt has succeeded, there has been 
gained something of continuity.and scientific value for the series. 
The presence, at the saine time, of an occasional personal element 
in the several articles of the historv will enhance its value for our 
dear friend, the good oid-fashioned reader, who sets no store by 
literary science, but judges books by his liking, and likes to read 
such judgments of them. 
The texts of the comedies presented are, to the best abilitv of 
their respective editors, faithful reprints of the best originais ; where 
possible, those published during the authors' lires. Spelling and 
language bave been preserved as they were; but for the conven- 
ience of readers, the punctuation and the style of capitais and 
letters, such as i, j, u, v, s, bave been, unless otherwise specified, 
conformed to the modern custom. 
The general editor regrets that it has hot been feasible to preface 
the series with some of the stili earlier experiments in comedy, 
but he indulges the hope that such a volume ma*,' later be added, 
and, also, that it mav soon be possible to publish in its proper pro- 
portions the materials which have been condensed into the Historical 
F'iew here submitted. He takes this opportunity to express his 



viii P,'eface 

appreciation of the courtesy of the scholars who have engaged with 
him in this undertaking, and especially to thank /Ir. Pollard of the 
British Museum, and iklr. E. V. B. Nicholson of the Bodleian 
Library, Professor Gummere, Professor Dowden, and the Master 
of Peterhouse for assistance, encouragement, and counsel which 
bave contributed to make this labour a delight. Other volumes of 
this series are well under way, and will follow with ail reasonable 
celerity. 

CHARLES MILLS GAYLEY. 

UNI¥1R$1TY Ol v CALIFORN|A! 
February ] 190 ]. 



CONTENTS 

Page 

I. Ab/ HISTORICAL VI£W oF TH£ BEGIb/NIb/GS OF ErcLse COMIDY 
By Charles Mills Gayley 
Of tbe Uni'versity of California x'l 
II. Jo Hvwooo: Critical Essay Alfred W. Pollard 
Of &. obn', College, Oxford» and tbe Briti*b )llu,eum 1 
Edition of the Play of the ltéther . . The Saine * 9 
Edition of a 3Iery Play betweene ohan ohan, r, etc. 
The Saine 6, 
III. NcnoLAs UOALL: Critical Essay Ewald Fliigel 
of Stanford Uni'veraty 8 7 
Edition of Roister Doister ...... The Saine i o 5 
Appendix on Various Matters ..... The Saine ,8 9 
IV. WU.LAM SrwnsoN : Critical Essay Henry Bradley 
of tbe Univerdty of Orford ! 9 5 
Edition of Gammer Gurtons Nedle . The Same zo 5 
Appendix ........... The Same z59 
V. Jonn LvL,: Critical Essay .... George P. Baker 
Of Har'vard Uni'verdty z63 
Edition of/llexander and Campaspe .... The Saine z77 
VI. Goe PL: Critical Essay . F.B. Gummere 
Of ttaw«fod Coi&ge 3 3 3 
Edition of ihe Old tI'ive' Tak . The Same 349 
Appendix ......... The Saine 383 
ix 



VIII. 

IND£X 

Cntent 

Pa 

Vil. GREN'S PL^CI 1N COMII)Y: A Monograph .... 
G. E. Woodberry 
O.f lumbia Uni,ersi 
Rosar Gan : His fe, and the Order of his Plays 
Charles Mies Gayley 
Edition of the HnouraMe Historie OE Frier Bacon 
The Se 433 
Appendix on Greene's Versification .... The Se o 3 
IX. Hav Posra : Cfitical Essav Charles Mflls Gayley 
Edifion of The Two Angry llmen OE Aington 
The Se  37 
X. SxsPa as a CoMc DaMarsr . Edward Dowden 
Of ri.iry 
.................. 663 



Aln Igistorical lTie 

OF THE 

BEGINNINGS OF ENGLISH COMEDY 

BV Charles lklilh Gayley 



AN HISTORICAL VIEW OF THE BEGINNINGS 
OF ENGLISH COMEDY 

x. Liturgical Fragments, Early Saints' Plays and Parodies 

THr earliest evidence of dramatic effort in England is to be found in Latin 
tropes of the Easter service, composed for use in churches at different periods 
between 967 and the middle of the eleventh century. While these are, of 
course, serious in nature and function, they interest the historian of comedy 
because they show that the dramatic spirit was at work among our ancestors 
belote the Anglo-Saxons had passed under the yoke of the Normans. Like- 
wise naturally devoid of comic interest, but of vital importance in the de- 
velopment of a dramatic technique, are certain fragments of liturgical plays, 
belonging to the iibrary of Shrevsbury School, which were published in 89o 
bv Professor Skeat. 1 Each ofthese deals, as an integer, with a crisis in the 
career of out Lord ; and, except for occasional choruses and passages from 
the liturgy in Latin, the plays are English--the English, in fact, translating 
and enlarging upon the Latin of the service. Though the manuscript is prob- 
ably hot older than 4oo, it is a fragment, as Professor Manly has said, of a 
series of plays of much earlier date, which were " performed in a church on 
the days and in the service celebrating events of which the plays treat." * 
These fragments are of great importance as constituting a link between the 
dramatic tropes of the tenth and eleventh centuries and the scriptural pageants 
presented at a later period outside the church : first by the clergy, with the 
assistance, perhaps, of townspeople (as mav have been the case when a Res- 
urrection play was given in the churchyard of St. John's, Beverley, about 
• zzo) ; afierward by the civic authorities and the several gilds ,vhen church 
plays had corne to be acted commonly in the streets, that is, afier the reinsti- 
tution of the feast of Corpus Christi in * 3  *. 
The existence of tropes at a period earlier than that in which mention is 
ruade of plays based upon the miracles of the saints appears to me to negative 
Professor Ten Brink's conjecture that in the development of our sacred drama 
legendary subjects preceded the biblical. Indeed, the fact that dramas on 

1 In Tbe /lcadem_v, January II, I890. 
2 Manly, 8peciraens o.f the Pre-8bakespearean Drama, vol. I., p. xxvii ; for examples of 
dramatic tropes from the Regularis Concordia Monachorura and the Winchester troper see 
pp. xix-xxvi. 
x]ii 



xiv Iu Historic«/ l'ie,w 

subjects both biblical and legendary, and of a technique even more highly 
developed than that of the Shrewsbury,  ere, as early as * *60, produced for 
lirurgical functions in France, hot only by Frenchmen, but by one Hilarius, 
who vas presumably an Englishman, favours rhe opinion rhat rhe earliest 
saints' plays in England, also, were as frequentlv derived ri'oto scriptural as 
from legendary sources. Itis, moreover, likely that the first saints' plays on 
legendary subjects in England of which we have record were neither the first 
of their kind in the period attributed to their presentation, nor a notable advance 
in dramatic art vhen they were presented. There is nothing in the earliest 
record of a legendary saint's play, the miracle of St. Katharine, pre»ented by 
Geoffrey, afierwards Abbot of St. Albans, at Dunstable about 1 I00, to war- 
rant the inference that it xvas a novelty, even at that date. Since GeofFrey 
was at the time awaiting a position as schoolmaster, he was probably within 
his function, de consuetudiue magistrorum et Jchlarum, 1 when he produced 
the play ; and itis tobe noticed that when Matthew of Paris writes con- 
cerning the marrer, about ,z4o, he appears tobe much more interested in 
an accident which attended the performance than in the mere composition and 
presentation of what he calls ,, some play or other of St. Katharine, of the kind 
that ,ve common/v call Miracles."  lndeed, William Fitzstephen, writing 
some seventy years before Matthew, speaks of such plays of the saints as in 
his time quite customarv. The probabilities are, then, that this first legendary 
saint's play recorded as acted in England had been preceded bv others of its 
kind, and thev in turn by miracles of biblical heroes and bv liturical plays and 
dramatic tropes of the services of the church. 
It is hot unreasonable to surmise that this legendary kind of miracle, 
although sometimes used as part of the church service on the saint's day, 
and originally possessed of serious features, speedily developed characteristics 
helpful in the progress of the comic drama. All we knov of the St. Katha- 
rine play is that it ,vas xvritten tbr secular presentation at a date *vhen no 
mention is yet ruade of the public acting of scriptural plays. The dramatist 
xvould, ho,vever, be more likelv to adorn the useful with the amusing in the 
preparation of a play not necessarilv to be performed within the sacred pre- 
cincts; and xvhile the technique of the legendary miracle was presumably 
akin from the first to that of the biblical, itis natural to suppose that the plot 
• vas handled with larger imaginative freedom. 
But our knoxvledge of these earlv saints' plays need not be entirely a 
matter of surmise. We mav forma fair idea of their character from con- 

I Non noo OEuidern instituto, sed de consuetudine, etc., savs Bu[oeus, ft«st. Uni.» Par. II., 
z26 (edit. I665) ; Collier, Enlisb Dramatic Poetr', and .etnnals of tbe $tage, I. lg. 
• 2 In his Li,es of tbe Abbots of t. Alban. 



of English Comedy xv 

temporar)' testimon)', from the style of the Latin or French saints' plays of 
the time that have survived, from the nature of the legends dramatized, and 
from the analogy of contemporary biblical plays. To the lotus claicu of 
contemporary testimony in William Fitzstephen's Lire of Thomas à Becket 
(   7o-8 z) I have already ruade reference. Speaking of the theatrical shows 
and spectacular plays of Rome, the biographer savs that " London has plays 
of a more sacred character--representations of the miracles which saintly 
contCsors have wrought, or of the sufferings whereby the fortitude of martyrs 
has been displayed." According to this, the ludi anctiore, or marvels, as 
they seem later to be called,  are of two classes: the marvel of the tàith 
that removes mountains, the marvel of the fortitude that endures martyrdom. 
In either case the saint's play is of the stuff that produces comedy; for, 
whether the miracles are active or passive, the Christian saint and soldier 
always proceeds victorious, and vith increasing merit abides as ensample and 
intercessor in the church invisible. 
This relation of the saint's plav to comedy appears the more evident 
when we read in the Golden Legc»d and elsewhere the histories of the saints 
who became favourites in English or foreign drama or pageant,-- St. Katharine, 
St. George, St. Susanna, St. Botulf, and the like. In most cases the triumph 
of the marvel naturally outweighed the terror ; and in the one of the few 
English plays of the purely legendary kind that survives, the St. George-- 
degenerate in form and now merel)" a folk drama--the self-glorification of 
the saint and the amusing discomfiture and recovery of himself and his foes are 
the only elements that have outlived the stress of centuries. The Miracle of 
St. Nicholas, written in the middle of the tweltih century, affords still better 
opportunity of studying the dramatic quality of the kind in question. For the 
author, Hilarius, wrote also in a like mixture-- Latin with French refrains-- 
a scriptural play of Lazarus ; and in collaboration with others, but entirely in 
Latin, a magnificent dramatic history called DanieL These, like the St. 
Nichola, vere adapted to performance in church at the appropriate season in 
the holy year, and no better illustration can be round of the essential difference 
between the scriptural or so-called ' mystery ' play, on the one hand, and the 
saint's play, on the other, than is offered by them. The two scriptural plays, 
stately, reverent, adapted to the solemn and regular ritual of which they are an 
illustration in the concrete betray not a gleam of humour ; the play of the other 
kind, written as it is for the festival of a jovial saint, leaps in medas reJ with 
bustle and surprise ; and ri'oto the speech vith v¢hich Barbarus entrusts his 
treasure to the saint even to the last French refrain, after Nicholas has forced the 
robbers to restitution, we are well over the brink of the comic. By the con- 
1 In the Housebold Book, Henry Vil.  Collier, Hist., vol. l, p. 5] n. 



xvi 1 Historical Ioeiew 

cluding scene, serious and in Latin of the church, setting forth the conversion 
of the pagan, the feelings of the congregation are restored to the level of the 
divine service, momentarilv interrupted by the comedy but now resumed. 
These, and ail saints' plays not, like the St. Anne's play, of a cyclic 
character, vere, from the tirst, dramatic units ; they represented a single 
general plot, generally of a single hero; the action was tbcussed on the 
critical period of his lire; and a considerable incitement was consequently 
offered to invention of incident and development of character. A com- 
parative study of the plays concerning St. Nicholas will justify the statement 
that the dramatist was by way of taking liberties with, or varying, his selec- 
tion from legend. The Ein»iedeln Nicholas play of the twelfth century 
deals with a different miracle from that dramatized by Hilariug ; and of the 
four Fleury plays of St. Nicholas, probably composed in the same century, 
the two that deal with these miracles var), the treatment ; the other t,o are 
on different themes, but ail would appear, ti'om the editions which we have 
of them, to be promising little comedies. The possibilities of this kind of 
drama are best displayed in still another play of St. Nicholas, written in 
the vernacular by a Frenchman of Arras, Jean Bodel, about the year I zo 5. 
Throwing the traditional legends entirely overboard, he gives his imagination 
ffee course with thvouring inds of knightly adventure, but over the waters 
of everyday life. He produces a play at once comic, fanciful, and realistic, 
the first of its kind--of so excellent a quality that Creizenach savs that it 
would appear as if dramatic poetry were even then well on the way of 
development from the ecclesiastical model to a romantic kind of art in the 
st),le of the later English and Spanish drama : chisalric, fantastic, and realistic.  
Unfortunately, other plays of this kind, like the Theophilus of Rutebeuf, 
do not alvays avail themselves of their chances ; but we may in general sur- 
mise that such plays in English- and we have evidence of many--contrib- 
uted as much as the biblical miracle to the cultivation of a popular taste tbr 
comedy and the encouragement of inventive power in the handling of dramatic 
fable. I believe that the), contributed more than the pre-Reformation morals, 
and from an earlier period. 
I have said that in all probabilit), there was nothing unusual in the presen- 
tation of saints' plays b), Hilarius and Geoffre),. Latin plays were not a 
novelty in the tweltih century, at anv rate to men of culture and the church. 
When we consider the historv of t]ae Terentian and Plautine manuscripts, 
how carefully the former were cherished, and with what appreciation a por- 
tion at least of the latter, during the Middle Ages, we cannot but apprehend 
the extent of their influence, even when unapparent, upon taste, style, and 
1 Gescb. des neueren Dramas, I. 4 



of Egh'sh Comedy xvii 

thought. Plautus (in svhose comedies, with those of Terence, St. Jerome was 
wont to seek consolation after seasons of strenuous fasting and prayer) was 
imitated in a Qucrolus and probably a Geta, as earlv as the fourth centurv ; and 
Terence was adapted by Hrosvitha in the tenth. "We are, therefore, hOt at all 
surprised when ,ve find Latin comedv during the twelfth and thirteenth cen- 
turies clothing itself through France and halv in the verdure of another spring. 
To be sure the new style of production--a declamation by way of dialogue 
or conversational narrative, in elegiac verse--was not intended for histrionic 
presentation ; but it was nevertheless of the dramatic genus ; little by little the 
narrative outline dwindled and the mimetic opportunities of the speaker were 
emphasized. His success was measured by his skill in representing diverse 
characters merely by changes of voice, countenance, and gesture. He is the 
impersonator in transition to the actor. These elegiac comedies indicate the 
continuing influence of Latin comedy upon the literarv creativitv of the day ; 
they furnish, besides, both the material for the regular drama that was coming, 
and the taste by which it should be controlled. I am, indeed, of the opinion 
that from this source the farce interludes of England, France, and Italy drew 
much of their content during the next three centuries, and that the saint's 
plays of that period, at least those in Latin, derived therefrom their dramatic 
technique. The revival of Latin comedy during the twelfih century was 
partly by way of adaptations, as in the dramatic poems of Vitalis of Blois ; 
partly of independent productions, fashioned upon classical models but dealing 
with contes, fabliaux or novelle of contemporary quality. Of the latter kind 
the more interesting examples upon the continent were the tllda of William of 
Blois, and two elegiac poems, perhaps Italian, of loyers and go-betweens, -- a 
graceful and passionate comedy of Pamphilus and a dramatic version by-one 
Jacobus of the intrigue, so dear to mediœeval satirists, between priest and 
labourer's wife. The subject and treatment of the last of these suggest, at 
once, a kinship with an lnterludium de Clerico et Puella in English of the 
end of the thirteenth century, and with an eariier English story from which 
that is derived ; also with Heywood's much later play of 'ohan. That there 
was a Latin elegiac colnedy in England during the twelfth and thirteenth cen- 
ttaries, -- comedy of domestic romance with ail or some of the characters com- 
mon to the kind--youth and maid, wife and paramour, enamoured cleric, 
faithless husband, cuckold, enraged father, parasite, slave, go-between, and 
double,--is rendered probable by the survival of two such poems, one ot 
which bears internal evidence of its origin in England, while the only manu- 
scripts extant of the other were found in that country. The first lacks a" 
title, but has been ca.led the Baucis after the manipulator of the intrigue, a 
procuress ; the second is named Babio for the unhappy hero ,vho is at one 



xviii In Historical [riew 

and the same time fooled by his wife whom he doesn't love, and his step- 
daughter whom he does. Both comedies display the influence of classical 
Latin, but the latter sparkles with the humour and spontaneity of the comedy 
of contemporary life.  
I agree, therefore, with Dr. Ward that the burden of proof is with those 
who assert that the Latin comedy of the Middle Ages made no impression upon 
the earlier drama of England. That the former was one of the tributaries of 
the farce interlude and the principal source of the romantic play of domestic 
intrigue I have no doubt whatever. And, considering the influx of French 
clerics and culture during the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth centuries, and 
the French affiliations of Geoffrey of St. Albans and Hilarius, our earliest 
recorded ,vriters of saints' plays, not to speak of the latinity of our Maps, 
Wirekers, and other scholars of Henry II.'s reign, and their familiarity with 
the literature of the Continent, which was Latin,--it vould be unreason- 
able to assume that the authors of our saints' plays, whether in Latin or hOt, 
did hOt derive something of their technique from the elegiac comedies of their 
contemporary latinists in France and England, or indeed from the adaptations 
of Plautus and Terence in previous centuries, or from the originals themselves. 
When the refigious drama passed into the hands of the crafts, it carried 
vith it such individual plays, of both scriptural and legendary kinds, as were 
suitable to the collective character which it was assuming. The Corpus Christi, 
Whitsuntide, Easter, or Christmas cycle, though it aimed to iilustrate sacred 
history and so justify God's wavs to man, drew its materials, hot only ffom 
the scriptures of the canon, but rom the Apocrypha, the pseudo-Gospels, and 
mediœevai legends of scriptural and sometimes non-scriptural saints. There 
was no real ground for distinction, and there is none now, dramatic or di- 
dactic, between the non-scriptural stories of scriptural characters, St. Joseph, 
and St. Thomas, stories of the Death, Assumption, and Coronation of the 
Virgin, stories of St. Paul and St. Mary Magdalene, xvhich happened to be 
absorbed into this or the other miracle cycle, and the non-scriptural stories 
of extra-biblical saints in plays which have retained their independence : that 
of Nicholas, for instance, or of Katharine or Laurence or Christina, except 
that these and their heroes are concerned with events later than those which con- 
clude the earthly career of our Lord and of the Virgin Mary. Ail religious 
historical plays, bibfical or iegendary, cyclic or independent, ofevents contem- 
poraneous with, or subsequent to, the scriptural, were miracles, properly so 
ca]led by our forefathers ; and as the didactic intent of the species waned, one 
1 Sec Wfight's Early l'ysteries, etc., Klein's Gescbicbte des Dama, III. 6]8 et seg. , 
Crdzenach, Gescb. d. n. Dramas, I. 7 et seT. Quadrio speaks in *ris $toria, Ill. il. 5z, of a 
Pietro Babyone, an Englishman, who» a¢¢ording to Bale wrote a I.ail, ¢omedy in verse, c. * 366 



of E»glish Comedy xix 

was as likely as another to develop material for amusement. Indeed, the 
authors of the Manuel des Pechiez and The Handlynge 8ynne, -- the preacher 
of that fourteenth-century attack upon miracle plays which has been preserved 
in the Relifuite .4ttifute,  these, and Chaucer, Langland, and Wyclif make 
no distinction between miracles of the central mystery from the Old and New 
Testaments and miracles worked and suffered by saints, whether legendary or 
biblical. The distinction, if any, ruade by them, is between miracles acted to 
further belief by priests and clerks in orders in the church, and those acted for 
amusement by these or by hymen in the streets and on the greens. And it is 
sale to say that as soon as a play became more amusing than edifying, it till 
under the censure of the church. This happened as early as  z o, when a 
decretal of Innocent III. forbade the acting of ludi theatrales in churches. 
Indeed much earlier, for Tertullian and St. Augustine and the Councils had 
consistently condemned the performances of histriones, mimi, lusores, and others 
who perpetuated the traditions of the pagan Roman stage. In zz 7 the 
Council of Treves took such action. Gregory IX. attempted to put a stop 
to the growing participation of the clergy, ", lest the honour of the church 
should be defiled by these shameful practices."  And during the succeeding 
decades more than one Synod issued orders of the same tenor. Now, even 
though it is practically certain that these fulminations were directed against 
perversions of divine worship, mock festivals and profane plays with the 
monstrous disguisings or mummings involved,  there is also no doubt that 
the prohibition came speedily to apply to the use of masks and other dis- 
guises in sacred plays, and then to the presentation of plays in church for 
any other than devotional purposes. Such for instance was the animus with 
which William of Wadington, in the l,Ianuel des Pechiez, about  z 3 ç, called 
attention to the scandal ofthe foolish clergy who, in disguise, acted miracles 
"ky est defendu en decré.' To play the Resurrection in church, pur plus 
aver devociun, was permissible ; but to gather assemblies in the streets of the 
cities after dinner, when tools more readily congregate, that was a sacrilege. 
At this early date, we may be sure that the kind of drama which was 
extruded from the church had already invested such of its subjects as were 
biblical or legendary with the realistic and comic qualities which made for 
popularity, and so was fitting itself for adoption bv the crafts. Indeed, we 
are told by a thirteenth-century historian of the Church of York, a that, at a 
date which must be set near  zzo, there was a representation as usual of the 
Lord's Ascension by masked performers, in words and acfing ; and that a large 
I Ward, I. 5z.  Creizenach, I. o. 
S Historians of the Church of York, Rolls Series, No. 7, i. zS. Quoted by A. F. 
Leach in $ome Englisb Plays and Players, Furnlvall Miscellany, p. zo6. 



xx ln Historic«/ lTew 

cro,vd of both sexes was assembled, led there by different impulses, some 
mere pleasure and wonder, others for a religious purpose. This was the play 
in the churchyard of St. John's, Beverley, to which I have referred beIore. 
The miracula of the story cited by Wright I and conjecturally assigned to the 
rhirteenth century, had also passed beyond the sheer didactic stage, for the 
auditors, who resorted to the spectacle in the "' meadow above the stream," 
expressed their appreciation nunc silentes nunc cachinnantes. When, afier the 
reinstitution of the festival of Corpus Christi, in  3  , these plays began to 
be a function of the gilds, their secularization, even though the clerks still par- 
ticipated in the acting, was but a question of rime ; and the occasional injection 
of crude comedy was a natural response to the ci,'ic demand. It would be 
erroneous, however, to imagine that the church abandoned the drama **hen 
the town took it up : the church maintained a liturgical drama, in some places, 
until well into the sixteenth century ; and as late as  7 z individual clergy- 
men are condemned for pla.ving interludes in churches." 
If the writers of saints' plays, with their attempt to satisfv the yearning 
for ideal freedom which is narural in all times and places, took, in their fictions 
of the religious-marvellous, a step towards what mav be called romamic 
comedy, --a step no less important, though nowadavs often unnoticed, was 
taken toward the comedv of ridicule, satire, and buriesque, ata date quite as 
remote, by the contrivers of religious parodies. Itis curious, though not at 
ail unnatural, that some of the earliest efforts at comic entertainment should 
proceed from the revolt against ecclesiastical formality and constraint. I 
cannot in this place do more than remind the reader of the antiquity of three 
of the most notable of these dramatic travesties : the Feast of Fools, the elec- 
tion of the Boy Bishop, and the Feast of the Ass. The first of these was 
celebrated on the Continent as early as J 782, one may say with reasonable 
certainty, 99 o. It is indeed more than a conjecture that the Feasts of 
Fools and the Ass inherited the license of the Roman Saturnalia, the season 
and spirit of which were assimilated by the Christian Feast of the Nativity. 
Whether adopted by the church in its effort to conciliate paganism, or toler- 
ated for reasons of secular policy, these mock-religious festivals were soon the 
Frankenstein of Christianity ; and it was doubtless against them rather than 
the seductions of the sacred drama thar most of the ecclesiastical prohibitions 
of the Middle Ages were aimed. With its necessary comic accessories, the 
Feast of Fools was well established in England before 12z6, and it was still 
flourishing in 139o when Courtney forbade its performance in London. 
" The vicars," he said, "and clerks dressed like laymen, laughed, shouted, 
I In Supp. Dods. Old Pla',, lntrod, to Cbester Plays, ix. ; Latin Stories, p. xoo. 
- ln Ins¢.ver to a Certain Libel» OEc., in Collier» II. 73- 



 Englis/ Comedy xxi 

and acted plays which they commonly and fitly called the Feast of Fools." 
They travestied the dignitaries of the church, they turned the service inside 
out, put obscenity for sanctity and blasphemy for prayer. While it does not 
appear that in England, as on the Continent,  the procession of the Boy Bishop 
was attended with frivolity or profanity, it vas certainly celebrated with mum- 
mings and plays ofsuitable kind, not altogether serious, This ceremony dates 
as far back as St. Nicholas day, lzzg, and was still to the fore in 1556. 
The Feast of the Ass appears to have been recognized by the church as early 
as the Feast of Fools. I do not know when it was introduced into England, 
but it was played upon Palm Sunday as late as the middle of the sixteenth 
century. In France it had been notoriously wanton since the beginning of 
the thirteenth; and it could not exist anywhere without promoting the spirit 
of burlesque and tàrce. Although the initial purpose of these festivals was to 
satirize the hierarchv and ecclesiastical convention, they applied themselves 
after they had been repudiated by the church to the ridicule of social folly in 
general ; and, according to the descriptions of Warton, Douce, Hone, Klein, 
Petit de Julleville, and others, they came to be a vivid interpreter of the 
popular consciousness, a most potent educator of critical insight and dramatic 
instinct, an incitement to artistic even though nah'e productivity. In France, 
indeed, the Fraternities of Fools produced national satirists and dramatic pro- 
fessionals in one. In England, if they did nothing else, they helped to stimu- 
late a taste for realistic and satiric drama. 

2. The Miracle Cycles in their Relation to Comedy 

Miracle plays and ' marvels,' morals too as ve soon shall see, vere a pro- 
poedeutic to comedy rather than tragedy. For the theme of these dramas is, 
in a word, Christian : the career of the individual as an integral part of the 
social organism, of the religious whole. So also, their aim : the welfare of 
the social individual. They do not exist for the purpose of portra)'ing 
immoderate self-assertion and the vengeance that rides after, but rather the 
beauty of holiness or the comfort of contrition. Herod, Judas, and Antichrist 
are foils, not heroes. The hero of the miracle seals his salvation bv accepting 
the spiritual ideal of the community. These plays contribute in a positive 
manner to the maintenance of the social organism. The tragedies of life and 
literature, on the other hand, proceed from secular histories, histories of per- 
sonages liable to disaster because of excessive peculiarity,- of person or 

I As early as * ]o 4 in Hamburg : Meyer, Gescb. d. bamburg. &bul- und Unterrkbts- 
goesens ira '[Iittelalter s. 97 : cited in Creizenach» I. ]9I. 



xxii /zz Historical 

position. Whether the tank of the tragic hero be elevated or mean, he is 
unique: his desire is overveening, his frailty irremediable, or his passion un- 
restrained, -- his peril unavoidable ; and in his ruin hOt the principal only, but 
seconds and bystanders, are involved. Tragedy, then, is the drama of Cain, 
of the individual in opposition to the social, political, divine ; its occasion is an 
upheaval of the social organim. 
While the dramatic tone of the miracle cycle is determined by the conser- 
vafive character of Christianity in general, the nature of the several plays is 
modified by the relation of each to one or other of the supreme crises in the 
career of our Lord. The plays leading up to, and revolving about, the 
Nativty, are of happy ending, and were doubtless regarded, by authors and 
spectators, as we regard comedv. The murder of Abel, at first sombre, 
gradually passes into the comedy of the grotesque. The massacre of the in- 
nocents emphasizes, hOt the weeping of a Rachel, but the joyous escape of the 
Virgin and the Child. In ail such stories the horrible is keptin the back- 
ground or used by wav of suspense before the happy outcome, or frequently 
as material for mirth. Upon the sweet and joyous character of the pageants 
of Joseph and Marv and the Child it is unnecessarv to dwell. They are of 
the very essence of comedv. The plays surrounding the Crucifixion and 
Resurrection are, on the other hand, specimens of the serious drama, the 
tragedy averted. It would hardh" be correct to say tragedy ; for the drama 
of the cross is a triumph. In no cycle does the consummatum est close the 
pageant of the Crucifixion ; the actors announce, and the spectators believe, 
that this is "" goddis Sorte," whom within three davs thev shall again behold, 
though he has been "'navled on a tree unworthilve to tie." By this con- 
sideration, without doubt, the horror of the buffetng and the scourging, the 
solemnity of the passion, the inhuman crueltv -- but hOt the awe--of the 
Crucifixion, were mitigated for the spectators. Otherwise, medioeval as thev 
were, they could have taken but little pleasure in the realism with which ther 
fellows presented the historv of the Sacrifice. 
To indulge in a comprehensive discussion of the beginnings of comedy in 
England ,vould be pleasant, but I find that I cannot compel the materials into 
the limits at my command. Accordingly, since the miracle cycles (to which 
Dodsley, following the French, gave the convenient, but un-English and some- 
what misleading, name of ' mysteries ') have been more frequently and gener- 
ously treated by historians than those other miracles, non-scriptural, which I 
would call ' marvels,' and the no less important popular festival plays and 
early farces, and ' morals' or moral and • merv' interludes, it seems that, in 
favour of the latter, I should defer much that might be said about the cycles 
until a more spacious occasion, 



of" E-/fsA Co,e , xxiii 

The manuscript of the York plays appears to have been made about 143o- 
4 ° ; that of the Wakefield, or so-called Towneley, toward the end of the same 
century; the larger part of the N-town, or so-called Coventry, in 1468 ; and 
the manuscripts of the Chester between 191 and 16o7. The last are, 
hovever, based upon a text of" the beginning of" the fifteenth or the end of 
the fourteenth century ; and there is good reason to believe that some of the 
plays were in existence during the first half of the f"ourteenth. A tradition, 
suspicious but not yet wholly discredited, assigns their composition to the 
period 1267-76. The York cycle, according to Miss Lucy Toulmin 
Smith, was composed between 134o and 135o. As to the Togneley 
plays, Mr. Pollard decides that they were buiit in at least three distinct 
stages, covering a period ofwhich the limits were perhaps 136o and 141o. 
While the composition of the so-called Coventry (apparently acted bv stroll- 
ing players) may in general be assigned fo the first half of the fifteenth cen- 
tury, some parts give evidence of earlier date. The authenticated dates of"the 
representation of"miracles in Coventry, 1392-1 ç9 !, I prefer to attribute not 
to this N-town cycle, but to the Coventry Gild plays, two of which still 
exist.  They possess no special importance for our present purFose. The 
Newcastle Shipwrights' Play is the much battered survivor of" a cycle that was 
in existence in 1426. The Ms. of the three Digby plays of interest to us 
is assigned by Dr. Furnivall to the latter half of the fifteenth century. The 
subject of the first of them, the Ki//ing of the Chi/dren, is of early dramatic 
use, and the treatment of" the poltroon knight corresponds suggestively with 
Warton's account of the Christmas play given by the English bishops at the 
Council of" Constance in 1417. The two Norwich pageants which survive 
are by no means haire: they were touched up, if" not written, during the 
second third of the sixteenth century. 
Other cycle plays which might be enumerated must be omitted, with the 
exception of the Cornish. These were written in Cymric, apparently some- 
what bef"ore 13oo. They are suggestive to the historian of comedy par- 
ticularly because they yield no tàintest glimmer of a smile, sae at their 
exquisite credulity and unconsciousness of art. They are a noble instance of 
the sustained seriousness of the scriptural cycle in its early, if" not its original, 
popular stage, and, also, of that familiar handling of" the sacred that prepares 
the way for the liberty of" the comic. 
In approaching the English miracle plays we notice that, as in the Cornish, 
the earliest secular form of the older cycles was principally, if not entirely, 
serious. Reasons which I cannot stay to enumerate prove that comic plays 
1 The Shearmen and Tayiors" Pageant, from the lnnunciation to the Flight into Eg.pt 
(Ms., 533), and the WeaveW Pageant of the Presentation in tbe Tc,'plt. 



xxiv 1, Igistorica! lTe,w 

in the older cycles are not of the original series, and that humorous pas- 
sages in plays of the older series are of later interpolation. Now, so far as 
the direct effect upon the comedy of Hey,vood, Greene, and Shakespeare is 
concerned, it may appear to some of no particular importance in what order 
the cycles in general were composed or the plays within the cycles. But the 
Tudor dramatists did not make their art, they worked with what they found, 
and they found a dramatic medium of expression to which centuries and 
countless influences had contributed. An extended study of the beginnings 
of English comedy should determine, so far as possible, the relative priority, 
hOt only of cycles, but of the comic passages within the cycles : what each 
composition has contributed to the enfranchisement of the comic spirit and 
the development of the technical factors of the art ; to what extent each has 
expressed or modified the realistic, satirical, romantic, or humorous ,'ie,v of 
life, and in what wavs each has reflected the temper of its rime, the manners 
and the mind of the people that wrote, acted, and wimessed. If I arrange 
the plavs that bear upon the development of comedy according to mv con- 
clusions regarding priority of composition, the order, broadlv stated f'or our 
present rapid survey, is as follows : first, the Cornish and the" Old Testament 
portions of the Chester and Coventry; then the productions of the second 
and third periods of the York, and, closely following these, the crowning 
efforts of the Towneley ; then the Ne,v Testament plays of the Chester and 
Coventrv ; and, finally, the surviving portions of the cycles of Digby and 
Ne,vcastle. This order, which is roughly historical, has the advantage, as I 
perceive after testing it, of presenting a not unnatural sequence of the œesthetic 
values or interests essential to comedy : first, as a full discussion would reveal, 
the humour of the incidental ; then of the essential or real, and, gradually, of 
the satirical in something like their order of appearance within the cycles; 
afierwards, the accession of the romantic, the wonderful, the allegoricl, the 
mock-ideal ; and, finally, of the scenic and sensational. 
Of the significant lack of humour in the Cornish plays I have alreadv 
spoken. I find, though I mav hOt stay to illustrate, a livelier obser,'ation anî:l 
a superior faculty of characterization and construction in the early comic art of 
Chester than in that of Coventry, but in both a cruder sense of the humour of 
incident than in the other English cycles. In the York cycle there are fewer 
situations that may be called purely comic than in the Chester, and none of 
these occurs in the oldest plays of the series ; but for its other contributions to 
dramatic art and its relation to the remarkable productions of the Wakefield or 
Towneley school of comedv it deserves special attention. A comparative 
study of its versification, phraseology and dramatic technique, leads me to 
the conclusion that the original didactic kernel of the York cycle was en- 



larged and enriched during t,vo weii-defined periods, which may be termed 
the middle and the iater, and that there ,vas at ieast one playwright in each of 
these periods or schools who distinctly marie for the development of English 
comedy. Of the middle period, to which belong Cain, Noah, and the 8hep- 
herdJ' PlayJ, the piaywright or playwrights are characterized by an unsophisti- 
cated humour ; the distinctive playwright of the iater or realistic period is 
marked by his observation of life, his reproduction of manners, his dialogue, 
and the piasticity of his technique. That the later school or period, to which 
beiongs a group of balla dozen plays  gathering about The Dream of Pilate's 
/¢/, and The Trial before H«rod, was, moreover, influenced bv the maner 
of its predecessor is indicated by the fact that of its two most efficient stanzaic 
forms one, namely that used in The ConJpiracy, is anticipated (though in sim- 
pler iambic beat) by that of Noah, the typicai play ofthe middle, that is the first 
comic, schooi, while the other, of which the variants are found in 7"he Mor- 
tiflcacio and The Second Trial, has its germ more probably in The Carme 
of that saine school than in anv other of the middle or of the earlier plays, a 
With these two stanzaic forms the later group, so far as we may conclude 
from the mutilated condition of the surviving plays, seems to experiment ; 
and the second of them, that of the lIorti)qcacio, mav be regarded as the final 
and distinctive outcome of York versification. To the leading play,vrights 
of each of these schools, -- the former the best humorist, the latter the best 
realist, of the Y'ork drama, -- to these anonymous composers of the most facile 
and vivid portions of the York cycle out comedv oves a still further debt ; for 
from them it wouid appear that a poet of undoubted genius derived something 
of his inspiration and much of his method and technique -- out first great comic 
dramatist, the Piaywright of ,Vakefieid. 
We knoxv that Wakefield actors sometimes played in the Corpus Christi 
piays of York, and it ,vas only naturai that the smailer town shouid borrow 
from the dramatic riches of its metropolitan neighbour. We are, therelbre, 
hot surprised to find in the Vakefieid cycle a number of plays which have 
been taken bodily from the York cycle. 4 None of these is in the distinctive 
stanzaic form of which we have just spoken ; but imbedded in certain other 

1 V'. XXVI. XXVIII. XXIX., XXX. XXXI., XXXIII. ; probably XXXII. Per- 
haps this playwright { if we may use the singular) rewrote XXXI V. I think he remodelled 
XXXV. and XXXVI., in the old metres. 
 XXVI., Tbe Conspiraç', and IX., Noab, --abababab4c dcc c d a. 
a XXXVI., Tbe Illortificacio, -- a b a b b c b c a d I e e t a d a. 
Vil., Tbe Cayme, -- a b a b b c* dl b c c* d '. 
4 y. XI., W. VIII. ; Y. XXII., W. XVIII. ; Y. XXXVII., W. XXV. ; Y. 
XXXVIII., W. XXVI. ; Y. XLVIII., W. XXX. For particulars sec Miss Lucy Toulmin 
Smith, Pollard, Hohlfeld's Die l/teng/ischen llToHektimisterien Anglia XI. 



xxvi /]n [istarica! Iiew 

Wakefield plays t that in other respects show marks of derivation from earlier 
and discarded portions of the York cycle, we find occasional affiliated forms of 
the distinctive later York strophe evidently in a transitional period of its devel- 
opinent. We find, furthermore, passages in this transitional York strophe side 
by side with Wakefield stanzas which display the strophe in a more highly 
artistic technique than anything round in the York." The writer of the per- 
fected York-Wakefield stanza, such as appears in the Towneley plays, must 
bave, consciously or unconsciously, been influenced by the middle and later 
York schools ofdramatic composition. This fully developed outcome of the 
distinctive York stanza of the later school is found in the guise of a nine-line 
stanza in certain Townelev plays which we see reason fbr attributing to a 
Wakefield genius, and which we shall presently consider. Suffice it in this 
place to sav that of the Wakefield stanza the first four lines, when resolved, 
according to their internal rhymes, into separate verses, run thus : a b a b a b a b -. 
lftothisveadd thecauda, ourstanzarunsababababcldddc. Some- 
rimes, indeed, a three-accented line occurs among the first eight, showing the 
more plainly that this thirteen-line stanza of Wakefield (though set down in 
nine lines) is a variant or derivative of the thirteen-line York XXXVI.,- 
ababbcbcadeee'd ". And that in itself is, as I bave already said, a 
refinement upon the fourteen-line stanza of the earlier comic school of York, 
as used in the Noah. Whether the rapid beat and ffequently recurring rhvme 
of the Wakefield are a conscious elaboration of the York or a happy find or 
accident, the stanzaic result is an accurate index to the superiority in spirit 
and style achieved over their congeners of York by these comedies of Wake- 
field. 
Nov, the contiguity of what is undoubtedl¢ borrowed from the York 
vith what is imitated from it and what is elaborated upon it, is strong proof 
of a conscious relation between these Wakefield productions and those of York ; 
and rince the work of the poet, especially the provincial poet, was in those 
days (though verse forms, like air, are free to all ) likelv to be cast in a fixed 
mould--his favourite metrical and strophaic medium, there is at any rate a 
possibility that the plays and portions of plays in the Wakefield cycle, writ- 
ten in this fully developed and distinctive stanza, vere the work of one man. 
When we examine the contents of the plays and their style, we find that 
the possibility becomes more than a probability, practically a certainty ; and that 

1 Such as stanza 57 in ,Vakefield XXIX. lscension, and 97-oo in Wakefield XX. 
Conspiracy. 
a Cf. stanr.as  to 4. with those that follow in Wakefield XXII., Fflagellaci ; and stanr.a 6 
of Wakefield XXIV. with those that preced¢ it i and stanza 55 of Wakefield XXIX. with 
tanza 57- 



of Eng]ish Comedy xxvii 

being so, I can hardly deem it an accident that the most dramatic portions of 
the Wakefield cycle show so close an external resemblance to the best comic 
and realistic portions of the York. Itis, then, with something of the interest 
in an individuai, hot a theory, that one may segregate the piays and bits of 
plays bearing this metrical stamp, look for the personality behind them, and 
attempt to discover the relation of the Wakefieid group of comedies toits fore- 
runners of York. 
The Wakefield cycle is still in flux when its distinctive poet-humorist 
takes it in hand. Insertions in his nine-line stanza are found in one I of 
the rive plays derived from the York cycle. Of the two plays which show 
a general resemblance to a corresponding York, one  is in this stanza, 
and to the other a a dozen of the stanzas are prefixed. The Fflagella,io 
('XXII.), the second haif of which is an imitation, sometimes ioose, some- 
rimes literal, of York XXXIV. (Christ Led up to Cal,arv), opens with 
twenty-three of these stanzas, -- nearly the vhole of the original part. One 
of them, No. z, is, by the way, based upon stanza z of that part of 
York XXXIV. which is hot taken over by the Wakefield play. In the Wake- 
field Acemion (XXIX.), which adapts, but in no slavish manner, a few pas- 
sages from the York (XLIII.), we find two of this piaywright's nine-line 
stanzas ;  and in the Wakefieid Crucifixion ('XXIII.), which bas some slight 
reminiscence of York XXXV. and XXXVI., we find one. In that part of the 
Wakefieid iess directly, or hot at ail, connected with the York cycle, four 
whole plays, n the ProteJm Noe, the two ShepherdJ' Play., and the Buffeting, 
and occasional portions of other plays  are written in this stanza. This con- 
tribution in the nine-line stanza amounts to approximately one-fourth of the 
cycle; and, aiiowing for modifications due to oral and scribai transmission, is 
of one ianguage and phraseoiogy. Not merely the identitv of stanza and 
diction, however, leads one to suspect an identity of authorship; but the 
prevalence in ail these passages, and hot in others, of spiritual characteristics 
m approximately the saine combination,- realistic and humorous qualities 
singularly suitable to the development ofa vigorous national comedv. "' If 
any one," says Mr. Pollard, '" wiil read these plays together, I think he can- 
hot rail to feel that they are ail the work of the saine writer, and that this 
writer deserves to be ranked- if on]v we knew his naine !--at least as high 
as Langland, and as an exponent of'a rather boisterous kind of humour had 

IXXX. Judicium, stlrlza 16 to 4, 6[ to 76. 
 XVI. Herod.  Stanza 57 might just as v,,ell be arranged |ike stanza 58. 
$ XX. a, Cmpirac.v. i III., Xll., Xlll. XXI. 
6 Minor pas.sages in the nine-line stanza are II. 3, 36; XXIV., I-, 6-9 ; XXVII., 4- 
Passage, in a closely similar stanza are XX|I., 1-4i XXIII. z ; XXVII., 3 o. 



xxviii ln Historical l/'iew 

no equal in Iris own day." And, speaking of the Mactacio/lbe/, where we 
lack the evidence of identity of mette, this authoritv continues, '" The extraor- 
dinary youthfulness of the play and the character of its humour make it diffi- 
cuit to dissociate it from the work of the author of the 8hepherds' P/ays, and 
I cannot doubt that this, also, at least in part, must be added to his credit."  
To this conclusion I had come before reading Mr. Pollard's significant 
introduction to the gbwne/ey P/avs ; and I may say that I had suspected the 
Wakefield toaster in the ProcesJuÇ Talentorum as well ; for though, with the 
exception of some insertions, the stanzaic form of that pageant is not his 
favourite, the humour, dramatic method, and phraseology of the whole are 
distinctly reminiscent of him. In the revising and editing of the Wakefield 
cycle as he round it this playwright was brought into touch with the York 
schools of comic and realistic composition. ,Vhat he derived from them 
and what he added may be gathered from a comparative view of the related 
portions of these cycles. That, however, I must defer until another rime. 
The best of his plays are of course the Noe and the 8ecunda PaJtorum ; 
the latter a product of dramatic genius. It stands out English and alone, 
with its homespun philosophy and indigenous figures,--Mak and Gvll and 
the Shepherds,--its comic business, its glow, its sometimes subde irony, 
its ludicrous colloquies, its rural life and manners, its naive and wholesome 
reverence : with these qualities it stands apart from other plays of cycles for- 
eign or native, and in its dramatic anticipations, postponements, and surprises 
is our earliest masterpiece of comic drama. A similar dramatic excellence 
characterizes ail this poet's plays, as well as the insertions made by him in other 
plays. But he is no more remarkable for his dramatic power than for his sen- 
sitive observation and his satire. 
Of the realism of his art much might be said. To be sure, we cannot 
accredit to him the grim photography of certain plays--the preparations for 
the crucifixion, for instance, which are the counterpart of scenes in the York. 
But the Buff-eting proves his power in this direction, and parts of the 8courging 
--each a genre picture on a background of horrors. Of conversations 
caught from the lip those in the second and fourth scenes of the Processus 
Noe are his, and those between the shepherds in Prima and Secunda PaJtorum, 
--ail of them unique. So also the description of the dinners in these Shep- 
herdJ' Plavs: the boar's brawn, cow's foot, sow's shank, blood puddings, 
ox-tail, swine's jaw, the good pie, " all a hare but the loins," goose's leg, 
pork, partridge, tart for a lord, calt's li,'er "scored with the verjuice," and 
good aie of Ely to wash things down. ,Vhat more seasonable than the afier- 
thought of collecting the broken meats for the poor ? what more naive than the 
1 Tbe Tozoneley Plays, Introd., p. xxii. 



of English Comedy xxix 

• aight-spell in the name of the Crucified just preceding the angelic announce- 
ment of his birth ? what more typical of unquestioning faith than the rever- 
ence of these " Sely Shepherds" before the Savio,,r .'hiid, the simpiicity 
and acceptability of their rustic gifts ? This is the fresh and sympathetic 
handlingof a well-worn theme. But the Wakefield poet is no sentimentalist : 
h'.'s anger burns as sudden as his pity. Otherwhere genially ironical, it is in his 
revision of the udicium that he displays his full poxer as a satirist. Here 
his hatred of oppression, his scorn of vice and self-love, his contempt of sharp 
and shady practice in kirk or court, upon the bench, behind the counter, or 
by the hearth are welded into one and brought to edge and point. He strikes 
hard when he wiIl, but he has the comic sense and spares to slay. We may 
hear him chuckling, this Chaucerian " professor of holy pageantry," as he 
pricks the bubble of tàshion, lampoons Lollard and " kvrkchaterar" alike, 
and parodies the iatinity of his age. When his demons speak the svllables 
leap in rhythmic haste, the rhvmes beat a tattoo, and the stanzas hurtle by, 
Manners, morals, bily, and loose living are writ large and pinned to the 
caitiff'. But the poet behind the satire is ever the same, sound in his domestic, 
social, political philosophy, constant in his sympathy with the poor and in 
godly fear. 
Though there are comic scenes of some excellence in the later Chester 
and so-called Coventry plays, they add little to the variety of the Wakefield. 
I would, howe,,er, call attention to a fe,v other comparatively modern, but, 
generally speaking, contemporaneous, characteristics of these and the remaining 
cycles : the foreshadowing of the chivalrous-romantic in the Joseph and Mar)" 
plays of York, Wakefield, and especially Coventry ; of the melodramatic in 
the wonder and mediœe¢al magic of the York and Chester cycles, and again 
espedally in the Coventry ; of the allegorical in the Coventr.v, and of the 
burlesque in ail cycles when Pride rides for a rail or Cunning is caught in 
his own snare. 
In respect of the sensational, the older cycles are surpassed by the surviv- 
ing plays of Newcastle and Digby ; so also in the increasing complexity of 
motive and interest. These Digby plays were acted, probably one by one in 
sot'ne midland village from year to year during the latter hall of the fifteenth 
century, and ma),be somewhat earlier. They are ofinterest, hOt only because 
they emphasize the sensational element, but because the), stand half-way, if hOt 
in rime, at any rate in spirit and mnethod, between the miracles that we have so 
far discussed and the moral piays ofwhich we shall presently treat. The Digby 
Killing of the Children of Israel lends a decided impetus to the progress of 
the comic and secular tendencies of the drama. The Herod brags as usual, 
but he is artistically surpassed in his metier by a certain toiles gloriosus, the 



xxx 4 Hiorica! 17ev 

descendant of Bumbommachides and Sir Launscler Depe, and himself the 
forerunner of Thersites and Roi.ter Doister, and countless aspirants for 
knighthood, whose valour " beg.vnnes to fayle and waxeth fèvnt" under 
the distaff of an angry wife. Such is the Watkvn. of this igby play. 
Both here and in the ConverJion of St. Paul, the joyous element bas been 
enhanced, as Dr. Furnivall points out, bv the introduction of dancing and 
music. In the Convemion the charm supplied by the ammoniac Billingsgate 
of Saul's servant and the ostler adds thrills galore. Saul, " goodly besene 
in the best wyse, like an aunterous knyth," the thunder and lighming, the 
persecutor felled to earth, " godhed speking fi'om hev)'n," the Holy Ghost, 
the " dvvel with thunder and ri/re" sitting cool upon a " chavre in hell, 
another'devyll with a fyeryng, cryeng and ror.vng,"--the **arning angel, 
Saul's escape,--there is sign enough of invention here. To be sure. these 
seductions are counterbalanced bv a didactic on the Seven Deadlv Sins, 
worthv of a preceding or contemporary moral drama ; but that ,vas part of 
the bargain. The spectacular plays of this group, especially the Marv Mag- 
dalene, comic and didactic by turns, denote a further advance in a still dif- 
ferent direction. They portray character in process of formation : the rejec- 
tion of former habits and motives, and the adoption of new, the resulting 
change of conduct, and the growth of personality. From this point of 
vie,v Mary Magdalene is a figure of as rare distinction in the history of ro- 
mantic comedv as the Virgin Mary,--perhaps even of greater importance. 
lmeresting as the sensational elements of the play mav have been, and novel -- 
the vital noveltv here is that of character growing from within. Wonderful 
as the career o'f :he virgin mother was,--an essential propœedeutic to that 
woman worship which characterizes a broad realm of Christian romance,-- 
her career could never have awakened the peculiar interest, dramatic and 
humane, that was stirred by the legend so often dramatized of the ,vay,vard, 
tempted, falling, but finallv redeemed and sainted Marv of Magdala. 
With regard to the transitional character of the Digby plays, it bas been 
maintained that this particular play, combining materials of the biblical miracle 
and the saint's play or marvel, approaches more nearlv than any other of the 
group to the morals and moral interludes, because of the prominence of the 
Sensual Sins in the dramatic career of the Magdalene. Professor Cushman, 
in his excellent thesis on Tbe Devil and tbe i/ice, even asserts that the down- 
rail of the heroine, as the result of sensual temptation which is the oflqce of 
seven personified deadly sins "' arayyd Ivke vij dylf," is a special ' develop- 
ment' of this play. I can hardly go so far : the church of the lXliddie 
Ages, Caxton's Golden Legend of 1483, and Voragine's of 127o-9o had 
already amalgamated the biblical narratives of the Mary of seven devils, Mary 



of Engh'sh Comedy xxxi 

of Bethany, and the woman who was a sinner. In fact, the suggestion of 
the ' &vice,' if such was necessary, is contained in seven consecutive lines 
of Caxton's Lire of tbe Magda/ene. This biblical and legendary play is, 
however, undoubtedly well on the way toward the drama of the conflict 
of good and evil for possession of the human soul. And this appears, as the 
author just cited has pointed out, ,vhen we consider a later work on the saine 
subject, called a Moral Interlude, by Lewis Wager. Although the Seven 
Deadly Sins no longer figure as such, their place is here supplied by four 
characters,--lnfidelitie the Vice, and his associates, Pride of Lire, Cupiditie, 
and Carnal Concupiscence,--who, arrayed like gallants, instruct the Magda- 
lene in their several follies, and are themselves al1 '" children of Sathan." 
These later Vices are nothing other than selected Deadly Sins,--the Pride, 
the Covetyse, and the Lechery of the earlier miracle play. 

3" The Dramatic Value of the English Miracle Plays 

Taken as a whole, the craft cycle possesses the significance, continuity, 
and finality requisite to dramatic art; taken in its parts or pageants, hov- 
ever, it iresents to the modern reader the aiiearance of a mosaic, an his- 
torical panel picture, or stereopticon show. I set down these words, '" the 
modern reader," because I do hOt believe that the audience of contemporaries 
was aware of any break in the sequence of the collective spectacle. This 
histrionic presentment of the biblical narrative lacked neither motive nor 
method to the generations of the ages of belief. For them the historv of the 
world was thus unrolled in episodes the opposite of disconnected,- each a 
hint or sign or sample, a type or antitype of the scheme of salvation, which 
was itself import and impulse of all history. No serious scene, but was 
confirmation or prophecy. Characters, institutions, and events of the Old- 
Testament drama had their raison d'étre hot only in themselves but in the 
New Testament antitype which each in turn prefigured. No profound theo- 
Iogical training was needed to comprehend each symbol and its significance, to 
esteem ail as centring in the Person of history, in the sacrifice and atoÇment. 
And still it is largely because historians bave failed to appreciate the scriptural 
training of out ancestors that they bave unfairly emphasized the episodic nature 
of the miracle cycles, at any rate of the English. 
The integral quality of the English cycle is infinitely superior to that 
of the French; and the separate plays are more frequently artistic units. 
This is due, among other things, to facts long ago pointed out by Ebert. * 
1 Die engliscben Mysterien, abrb. rom. u. eng. Lit., I. 153" 



xxxii 4n listorica! lTew 

The smaller stage in England, which in turn restricted the scope of the play, 
made it impossible to split up'the action into two or more parallel movements, 
such as frequendy occupied the stage in France. The scene, moreover, ,as 
in England limited to earth, save when the plot expressly required the presen- 
tation of heaven or hell. It very rarely required all three at once. The 
conduct of the English play is therefore less dependent upon the supernatural, 
and the persons bear a closer resemblance to actual human beings. Neither 
plot nor character is distracted by the irresponsible intrusion of devils, whereas 
these, idling about the French stage, frequently turned the action into horse-play, 
-- if the fool (likewise absent from the English miracle) had not alreadv turned 
it into a farce out of all relation to the fable. The comic element in the Eng- 
lish play had to exist by virtue of its relation to the main action or not at ail. 
It vas therefbre compelled to conquer its position within the artistic bounds of 
the drama. The comic scenes of the English miracle should accordingly be 
regarded, hot as interruptions, nor independent episodes, but as harmonious 
counterpoint or dramatic relief. Those who have witnessed in recent rimes 
the reproduction of the 8e«unda Pastorum at one of the American universities 
bear testimonv to the propriety and charm, as well as the dramatic effect, 
with which the foreground of the sheep-stealing fades into the radiant picture 
of the nativitv. The pastoral atmosphere is already shot with a prophetic 
gleam, the fulfilment is, therefore, no shock or contrast, but a transfiguration 
--an epiphany. I do hOt forger that a less humorous analogue of the 8hep- 
herds' Play exists in surh French mvsteries as that of the Conception, but I call 
attention to the fact that by devicés, technical sometimes, sometimes naive, 
elaborated through the centuries in response to the demands of a popular 
oesthetic consciousness, the cycles, preëminendv in England, acquired a deli- 
cacy and variety of colour, an horizon, and an atmosphere, not only as .'holes, 
but in the parts contributing to the whole. 
It is, therefore, only with reservation that I can concur with what one of 
our most scientific and suggestive historians has said concerning the dramatic 
qualities of the English miracle play:  " In the mystery, not only were 
the subject and the idea unalterable, but the way in which the subject and 
idea affected each other was equallv unchangeable. The power of ex- 
pression was exceedingly defective. The idea in the finished work still 
seemed to be something strange and external--concepdon and execution 
did hOt correspond. It is only by a whole cycle that the subject could 
be exhausted, and this cycle was composed of the most heterogeneous ele- 
ments, and is, in fact, a work of accident. The cycle play very seldom 
formed a unit or whole; it seldom contained anything that could be called 

1 Ten Bfink, Eng. Lit. II : I. ]06. 



of Ezg/i.A Co¢ec/_), xxxiii 

a dramatic action. The spectators were therefore interested only in the 
marrer. Only a fev details ruade anv œesthetic effect--such as character, 
situation, scenes ; the whole was rarel¢or never dramatic." I xvill grant 
that, since the subject of the individual pageant was prescribed by tradition, 
and the solution ofthe dramatic problem already fixed, the author did not always 
penetrate the shell of his storv and assimilate the conception. Consequently 
the execution has frequently the fauhs of the ready-made suit of clothes: it 
creases where it shouid rail free and breaks where it should embrace. As the 
writer is not expected to exercise his invention, thc onlooker estimates the 
conduct of the fable as a spectacle, not as a revelation. Manv of the miracles, 
therefore, lack the element of dramatic surprise, and almost none attempts 
anything in the way of character development. This is, in part, because, 
severally, the plays are squares of an historical chessboard, upon **hich the 
individual -- king or pawn-- is merelv a piece ; and even if the board be not 
historic, the squares are over strait for the gradual deploy of motive ; manv of 
these plays are scenes, consequently, and limited to single crises of an i'ndi- 
vidual lire. In other words, the character, iffàmiliar, is regarded as an instru- 
ment toward a well-known end ; if unthmiliar, as an apparition momentarilv 
vivid. Slight opportunity exists for interplay of incident and character, 0r 
the production of conduct, in short, which is the resuhant ofcharacter and a 
crisis. It must also be conceded that, since each play was the dear delight 
of its proprietary gild--and each rare perfbrmance thereof the chance that 
should grace these craftsmen ever or disgrace them quite- the effort of actor, 
if not al,vays of playwright, was towards a speedy and startling effect, such as 
might be procured by the extraneous quality of the sho*v, rather than b)" the 
storv in itself or in its relation to the cycle. 
But still we must be careful not to generalize from a play here and there 
to the quality of a cycle as a whole or to the common qualifies of various cycles. 
When we say that the mysteries, that is, the scriptural miracles, possessed 
this, that, or the other merit or defect, to what area and what object does the 
remark apply ? Do we refer to ail the extant plays, or onlv to the one hun- 
dred and fifty plays in the rive cycles that may be called complete ? Do we 
draw the inference from a majority of ail pla.vs that might fall within the pur- 
s'ie*v, or from the plays of one cycle, or ri'oto a majority of the plays in that 
cycle, or from a single striking example here or there in one or another cycle 
or fragmentary collection ? Do we dra,v the inference from, or apply the 
conclusion indiscriminately to, later as well as earlier cycles and plays ? A 
generalization from the Chester does hot prita facie fi't the Towneley, nor 
does a dramatic estimate of the Coventry characterize the isolated miracle 
morals of the Digby. Bet*seen the composition of the earliest and the latest 



xxxiv wt Historical lTe.w 

of the Chest r plays alone, centuries elapsed ; centuries between the earliest 
Coventrv and the earliest Digby ; generations between Chester and Coven- 
try plays upon the saine subject, and generations more between the York and 
Newcasfle. York includes some of the youngest pageants of the species and 
manv of the oldest. Townelev is generally later than York ; but it some- 
o 
times retains an original wh;ch York had long ago discarded for something 
more modern. Returning, therefore, to Professor ten Brink's generaliza- 
tion, we must submit that most of the de!ècts x hch he lavs at the door of the 
cvclic miracle were hOt inherent in the species, but incicental to the period. 
S'orne attach to the crudeness of the playwright, some to the simplicity of the 
audience ; thev no doubt attached to the collective " morals " of the fourteenth 
century, such as the Paternoster P/ay, and thev ould have characterized 
plays of anv other species attempted under like conditions. The best miracle 
plays are as mature products of dramatic art as the best of the allegorical kind, 
except in one point oniv--the development of character. That "" the sub- 
ject and its idea should e unalterable " and their interrelation fixed, is by no 
means a peculiarity of the scriptural play, but a characteristic of period or 
place. If the reader **ill cast even a rapid glance bv sav of comparison 
over the French Corpus of mysteries and the English, he will observe that the 
scope of subjects possible to a religious cycle  as amenable to widely different 
conditions of restriction, select;on, and enlargement, and that the treatment of 
the saine and similar subjects was infinitely varied. To illustrate at length 
would be a work of supererogation. Evervbodv knows that the French cycles 
bave plays upon subjects, the Job, for instance, and Tobias and Esther, i not 
touched bv the English,--at anv rate when in their prime; and that the 
saine subject or episode is frequently treated in a wav disimilar to the Eng- 
lish. When we turn to details we note likewise the independence of the 
playwright : none of the English plays avails itself, for instance, of Adam's 
dil'ficultv in swallo,ing the apple, though the incident figures both in 
Le Mistêre de la Nativité and that of the lïeI "lëstament ; nor of the attrac- 
tive possibilities of Reuben and Rachel's ma;d, Joseph and Potiphar's witè, 
Solomon and the .Queen of Sheba, and manv another conjunction known to 
all readers of the French religious play. And these discrepancies between 
national cycles hold true even where, as in the case of the Chester plays, 
the influence of the French mvsteries of the thirteenth centurv and of the 
iater collections is in other respects er;dent. Of the four English cycles, 
moreover, each does hot select exactlv the same subjects for its pageants as 
thc others,--Balaam and his Ass, fo instance, appear onlv in the Chester, 
 I do not forger that belated Tobias at Lincoln, 1 g64-66 , nor the Godly .een Hes:et 
of 1561 ; but the) hae nothing to do with the case. 



of Etlghsh (Olle(/_y xxxv 

--nor do ail introduce the same incidents in the handling of a common 
subject. 
Professor ten Brink is by no means alone in his estimate of the technica 
quality of the English scriptural miracle, but I must say that the estimate 
seems to me to be hardly up to the deserts of the species. The frequent 
absence of such refinements as the unities of rime and place was of the essence 
both of play and period ; but it was not of the essence of the miracle cycle 
that the expression should be defective, or that conception and execution 
should fail to correspond, or of the miracle play that it should be unable eco- 
nomically and adequately to develop a dramatic action and produce an artistic 
whole. It may be an insuflcient argument to say that the plays of the 
Wakefield dramatist are anything but defective in expression. Let us, there- 
fore, be somewhat more comprehensive in the scope ofinquiry. I bave gone 
carefully through the four English cycles with Professor ten Brink's censures 
in mind, and I conclude that at least twenty of the individual plays have cen- 
tral motive, consistent action, and well-rounded dramatic plot. Indeed I 
think a good case might be ruade br thirty. That wouid be to say that one- 
fifih of the miracles of the great cycles were artistic units in themselves, and 
must bave interested their spectators, not alone by the materials displayed, but 
by a subject that meant something, and situations, scenes, and acting char- 
acters by which it was sometimes hot at all unworthilv presented. The 
inheritors of English literature will indeed carry awav a false impression of 
the artistic achievements of their ancestors, if they believe that in spire of a 
development of rive hundred years the miracle play was " rarely or never 
dramatic." 
Even though the sacred and traditionai character of the biblical narrative 
must have exercised a restraint upon the comic tendencies of the cvclic poet 
hot likely to bave existed in the case of the writers of saints' plays "and single 
morals, still it is when he attempts the comic that the cvclic poet is most 
independent. For as soon as plays have passed into the ands of the gilds, 
the playwright purs himself most readily into sympathy with the literary con- 
sciousness as weil as the untutored oesthetic taste of his public when he colours 
the spectacle, old or new, with what is preëminently popular and distinctively 
national. In the minster and out of it, ail through the Christian year, the towns- 
folk of York and Chester had as much of ritual, of scriptural narrative, and tragic 
mystery as thev wanted, and probably more ; when the pageants were acted, 
they listened with simple credulky, no doubt, to the sacred history, and with a 
reverence that our age of illumination can neither emulate nor understand ;- 
but with keenest expectation they awaited the invented episodes where tradi- 
tion conformed itself to familiar life,- the impromptu sallies, the cloth-yard 



xxxvi .Cn Histop'ical IGew 

shafts of civic and domestic satire sped by well-known wags of town o 
gild. Of the appropriateness of these insertions, spectators ruade no question, 
and the dramatists themselves do hot seem to bave though: it necessary to 
apologize for œesthetic creed or practice. The objections thereto proceeded 
trom the authorities of the church, but the verv tenor and tone of them are a 
testimonv to the importance attained by the comic element in the re]igious 
p]ays. It is principally the " bourdynge and japynge" which attended the 
'" pleyinge of Goddis myradys and werkes," that called forth the wrath of 
the sermon that I bave already cited flore the end of the fourteenth century. 1 
And it was for simi]ar reasons that Bishop Wedego ordered, in 14.71 , the 
suppression of both passion play and saints' p]ays within his continental dio- 
cese. In France, indeed, hOt only horse-play characterized the performance 
of the mysteries, but absolutely irrelevant farces invaded them, merely afin que 
le jeu soit moins fade et plus plaisans. 
I have alJuded to the distinctively national note that characterizes the comic 
contributions to the sacred plays, and I find that mvopinion is confirmed by 
the examples cited by Klein and Creizenach. '-l¢he French mystery poets, 
while they develop, like the English, the comic quality of the shepherd scenes, 
introduce the drinking and dicing element ad lib.,--and sometimes the 
drabbing; they make, moreover, a specialty of the humour of deformity, a 
characteristic which appears nowhere in the English plays. The Germans, 
in their turn, elaborate a humour peculiar to themselves, -- elephantine, prim- 
itiv, and personal. They seem to get most flan out of reviling the idiosvn- 
crasies of Jews, whose dress, appearance, manners, and speech thevcaricature, 
-- e,'en introducing Je,vish dramatis personw to sing gibberish, expioit cunning, 
and perform obscenities under the names of contemporary citizens of the 
hated race. In general a ffeer rein seems to hav been given to the sacrile- 
gious, grotesque, and obscene on the Continent than in England. In the Pas- 
sion of A. Greban (belote 14.5z), Herod orders jesus into the garb of a 
tboi ; and in some of the German plays the judges dance about the cross upon 
which the Saviour hangs. Much of the ribaldry was of course impromptu, 
and on that account the more grotesque ; as in the storv related by Bebel of 
how a baker playing the part of Christ in the Processus Crucis bore the gibes 
of his tormentors with admirable composure, until one actor Jew insisted 
upon calling him a corn thief,--"Shut up," retorted the Christ, "or 
l'll corne do,vn and break vour head with the cross." There is, of course, 
an occasional license in the English plays, such as the dance about the cross 
in the Covntry ; but the excess of ribaldry, grotesquerie, and diablerie does 
hot assauit the imagination as in the continental mysteries. 
1 Rel. lntiF. II. '3" 



of Erg/is/ Colect.y xxxvii 

4. The Contribution of Later "Marvels " and Early Secular Plays 

The advance which remained to be made upon the quality of play pre- 
sented in the miracle cycle before England couid have an artistic comedy were 
threefoid : flrst, from the collective to the single play; second, from the 
reproduction of traditionai or accidentai events to the selection of such as 
possessed significance and continuity ; and third, from the employment of 
the remote in materiai and interest to the empioyment of the immediate and 
familiar. 
To attribute to the ailegorical play ail improvements that were made in 
this transition is a mistake. Some steps in the right direction vere already 
necessitated by the popular demand, and had been taken by the later miracle 
plays before the allegoricai drama had itseif passed out of the experimental 
stages,- by the Digby Magdalene, for instance. In that play, the dramatic 
management of a plot, invented and romantic rather than scriptural in its 
nature and interest, and the portrayal of commonplace events and characters 
side by side with the occasionv.l allegory, are evidence not only of contem- 
porary taste, but, as Mr. Courthope bas said, of an artistic approach to the 
representation of fables of simple secular interest. The play, in thct, bears a 
close resemblance to and was apparently influenced by the popular lire of 
St. Mary Magdalene which appeared in Caxton's translation of ,483 of the 
Golden Legend,- or perhaps by the French edition which Caxton foliows, 
or the original of Voragine. In the St. Paulof the Digby collection we note 
a similar fusion of secular and iegendary materia|, and an imaginative handling 
of the plot. Although the dramatist has buried his opportunities of psycho- 
logical invention in the apostle's homily upon the deadlv sins, he bas at the 
saine time crossed the border of the " moral play " rich with psychoiogical 
opportunity. In the same direction of advance various steps had also been 
taken by other saints' plays, purely legendary, iike the 8ancta Katharina 
already mentioned, and by such a ' marvei' as the Sacrament Play, or 
Miracle of the Host, which we shaii presently describe. A movement in 
advance had, moreover, been ruade bv our earlv secular drama, vhich com- 
prised, besides the farce interlude prepared by scholars for profane consump- 
tion, iike the Interludium de Clerico et Puelht, certain popular festival play, 
for instance, the Hox 7'uesday and Robin Hood, and plays of saints turned 
national heroes like St. George and St. Edward. 
Cortcerning the plays of the miracles of saints I bave already expressed 
the belief that, whether these ,vorkers of marveis got off with their lire« or 
hot, the rel3resentations in which they figured vere, generally speaking, of the 



xxxviii zqn Historica! lTie,w 

essence of comedy : the persistent optimism which in the end routs the spectres 
of temptation, persecution, and unbelief. This would hold, with even greater 
probability, of the purely legendary miracles, the nature of which is, of course, 
that ot popular religious thought and faith in the Middle Ages, and is embalmed 
for us in the Golden Legend, in Eusebius and St. Jerome, and other writers 
ti'om whom the legend was derived. In spite of their exceeding interest, 
these legendary saints' plays and pageants can be considered in this place only 
with brevity ; but in order that the reader may better appreciate the variety 
of their subjects and the extent of the period over which they were acted, I 
subjoin a list of some that we know to bave been presented.  
I bave little doubt that the romantic combination of tragic, marvellous, and 
comic later noticeable upon the Elizabethan stage xs as in some degree due to 
the ancient and continuous dramatization of the irrational adventures, blood- 
curdling tortures, and dissonant emotions afforded bv the legends of the saints. 
These ' marvels,' moreover, muse, because of ther early emancipation from 
ecclesiastical restraints and their adoption by the folk, bave contributed to the 
development of the freelv invented, surprising, and amusing fable which is 
congenial to comedy. OEhat we have not more notices of them is owing, not 
to their insignificance nor to any disappearance before the advancing popu- 
larity of the craft cycles, for even the pageants of the saints still flourish in 
Aberdeen as late as 1531, and the plays elsewhere much later, but, as Ebert 
bas alreadv noted, to the fact that they vere seldom presented with the mag- 
nificence nd publicity of the cvclic miracles ; but whenever a saint's play is 
taken up by a city or gild, it enjoys frequent official notice and maintains its 
dignity for years. 
Passing to the marvel or miracle of the Host, we notice that only one 
in our language bas survived. This Plav OE the Bly»s_vd Sacrament bears 
the name of one of the East Midland Croûtons, and it xvas composed between 
146 and 5oo. Although some critics bave a Iow opinion of the play, I 
venture to sav that it is one OE the most important in the early history of Eng- 
I St. Katbarine (Dunstable «. IIOO, Coentry, 490) ; St. George 1'1415 and later) ; 
St. Laurence (Lincoln, '44x ); St. 8usanna (Lincoln, '447); St. Clara (Lincoln, 455); 
St. Edward lCo«ento" , 456 and later); St. Cbristian (Coentry., 5o4; St. Cbristina 
( Bethersden in Kent,  5zz } i Ses. Crispin and Crispinian ( Dublin,  5z8 } ; St. Ola«,e (London, 
 557)- Some of these were curch pla's, like the St. Olame ; some, like the St. Katbarine, 
were school plays ; some, craft plays, like the St. Crispin. le is hard sometimes to distinguish 
between the play and the mumming or the mute pageant ; to the dumb show may be assigned 
some of the St. Georges and the pageants of Fab.',an, Sebasthn, and Botulf, displayed, in  564, bv 
the religious gild of Holy Trinity (St. Botolph ithout Aldersgate ). For some conception of 
the frequency and vitality of such shos one need only turn to Hone, Stow's Surg,e)., the 
Records of .elberdeen, Toulm:.n Smith's Englisb Gilds, the Histoy ?f Dublin, Daidson's 
Englisb «lrster_t" Pla)'s, and other books of thi kind. 



o Enh's/2 Come' xxxix 

lish comedy. The subject, the desecration by Je,vs of a wonder-working 
WatC and the discomfiture and uitimate conversion of the offènders, is popular 
in the iegend of the iater M iddle Ages.  With ours a Dutch Sacrament Play, 
,vritten about the year ,Soo by Smeken and acted in Breda, naturali), calis 
for comparison ; but,though the latter exhibits the miracuious power of the 
Host and has a certain diabolic humour, it iacks altogether the realism, the 
popular reproduction ofJe,vish ma|ignity, and the effective close of the Crox- 
ton. The Croxton avaiis itseif of the possibilities of the subject. The idea 
has a significance ; the plot possesses legitimate motive, due proportions, unity 
ethicai and oesthetic; and the conclusion is happy. The mood, bv turns 
serious and comic, and the dramatis personee, various and weli-characterized, 
combine to furnish a most di,'erting drama of the ,vonderfui, horrible, elevated, 
and commonplace. Colle's announcement ofhis master the leech, "a man off 
aile syence," who "' syttyth with sure tapstere in the spence," is excellently 
ironicai ; and Master Brundych himself, iike the doctor in the St. George piays, 
must have fiarnished a figure exactiv suited to the popular taste. Nor is 
the realism confined to the intentionally comic scenes; but it is as vividly 
successful in the corruption of Aristorius by Jonathas and in the futile and 
richly avenged efforts of the Jews to torture the Host. Here certainly was a 
play adapted to meet the demands of its time, Jexhibiting closer affiliation 
with the foik than ,vith church or patron or schooi, acted perhaps by stroiling 
players, an unforced product of the artistic consciousness ; a play which, 
though it dealt with a sacred subject, stiil focussed itseif in a single plot, dis- 
carded ail materiai, sacred or historicai, hot available for its purpose, com- 
pleted an alliance with the naturai and the familiar, and emphasized the 
comic realities of lire. No miracle, cyclic or individual, no allegoricai drama, 
and no secular play of the same or previous date excels the Croxton in dra- 
matic concept and constructive skiil. Without the mediation offered bv such 
Croxton plays, the English drama ,vould have had " old " bridging thi space 
between miracles, marveis, and morals of the earlier rime and the comedy of 
Shakespeare. 
The consideration of our early farce interludes may be conveniently post- 
poned for the present in favour of the more popular plays, or shows, with 
,vhich out forefathers celebrated festival occasions. Of the pageants in honour 
of royal entries, to which reference has aiready been made, it is impossible to 
sav more here than that, deveioping graduaily into dramatic spectacles, and at 
the same time retaining their symbolic character, they must have contributed 
to the taste for allegorical plays, the moral, and the moral interlude. If we 

1 German ballads on the subject in 1337 and 14«8. A case sirnilar to the rnaterial of this 
drama is assigned to 1478 in Train's Gescb. d. uden in Regensburg, pp. 116-117. 



xl ln Historical View 

turn to the secular shovs presented on regular festivals, such as May-day, 
Hox Tuesday, and the Eve of St. John and St. Peter, while we may at once 
conclude that thev were iess efficient as dramas than some of which we have 
spoken, such as the Sacrament piay, they have the adva.ntage, from our pres- 
ent point of view, of indicating more directly the nature of popular demand and 
the primitive conditions of popular art. Indeed, Dodslev regards the mum- 
mers vho commonlv acted them as the earliest genuine comedians of England. 
Ofsuch disguisings, masks, and mummeries there is evidence in the Ward- 
robe Accounts of  389, according to which a company of twenty-one men 
was disguised as the Ancient Order of the Coif for a phy before the lting at 
Christmas ; and of other mummings--not satiric nor in mockerv of church 
rituai, but geniai--we have mention in Stow and citations in Varton and 
Collier that take us to the first haif of the fourteenth centurv. Thev doubt- 
less existed much earlier, though I do hot think that they anticipated the 
parodies of sacred rites or tbe ecclesiasfical saints' plays. 
Naturaiiv a much-ioved figure in festival games was Robin Hood, and that 
some kind oi: drama was made out of the bailads surrounding him is proved 
by a Ms. fragment of 475 or earlier of Rbin ttood and the Knight, and a 
play of Robin Hood and the Ctrtal Frlar with a portion of Robin Hood and 
the Pott«r, printed by Copland, in 55o, as " very proper to be played in 
May-games."  These May-games occurred hot only in May, but June, and 
gave empioyment to St. George and the Dragon, the Nine ,Vorthies (at 
vhom Sbakespeare poked flan in Lor,e's Labor' Lost), the morris-dance, 
with its Lords and Ladies of the May, giant, hobby-horse, and sometimes 
deviis, as weil as to Robin and Little John, Maid Marian, and Friar Tuck ; 
and they were popular through the fifieenth and sixteenth centuries, perhaps 
even earlier. Ifwe mav trust oid Fenn's editing, Sir John Paston wrote in 
473 of a man whom he had kept for three vears to play "Seynt Jorge and 
Robvn Hod and the Shrvff off" Nottingham" There may be even earlier 
mention of such plays. or, with ail deference to the best of authorities, 
Professor Child, I cannot but think that when Bower wrote, between 44  
and 447, of the popular " comedies and tragedies" of Robertus Hode et 
Liti//ohanne, he had reference to acted plays, rince he took pains to specify 
in his account of them the mimi, as weii as the bardani who chanted them. 
These entertainments, he says, svere then more popular than anv other, and 
it is onlv naturai to suppose that thev had existed long before his rime. Tbe 
earliest mention of Robin in England is in Piers P/owman, 377, and then as 
the subject of a bailad ; but, as Warton long ago pointed out, pastoral plays 
of Roin et Marion had been given in France upon festival occasions before 
1 Child, Englisb and 8cotcb Popular Ballads» vol. III.» pp. 44, 9 °, 127, !!.. 



of English Comedy xli 

the end of the thirteenth century. Although there appears to be no similarity 
between the incidents of Adam de la Halle's comic opera of *z83 upon 
Robin and his Mafion and the English stories, and although sve are ignorant 
of the nature of the swing gaine, or play, of the saine title, which was already 
an annual function in Anjou, in t 39z, the principal characters and conditions of 
lire in the two series are suflîciently similar to suggest a connection by deriva- 
tion or common source. If such connection exist, it is hot impossible that 
some kind of Robin pageant or play was known in England earlier than we 
ordinarily think. 'Fhe ballad plays, at any rate, had attained popularity long 
before an artistic level was reached by the allegorical drama, and while yet 
the crafi cycles were in their prime. Stow, in respect of Mayings, which he 
leads us to believe were common in the reign of Henry VI., says that the 
citizens of London " did fetch in May-poles with divers warlike shows, with 
good archers, morris-dancers, and other devices for pastime ail the da)" long ; 
and towards the evening they had stage-plays and bonfires in the streets." 
Robin Hood and his archers are the heart of a Maying devised under 
Henry VII. in *gog and for Henry VIII. in rg*6; and the archers of the 
Maying in the rime of Henry VI. are suggestive of the Robin Hood as an 
accepted figure for some kind of pageant in the middle of the fifieenth century, 
when Boxver was writing of " comedies and tragedies," mentioned above. 
The pageants and probably the plays of Robin Hood are still alive in the 
seventeenth century and later. Their dramatic quality was of a very primitive 
sort, but the plot, wherever existent, displayed sequence of motive and effect. 
The popular dramatist had, as in the Sacrament play and saints' plays, learned 
hov¢ to magnify a hero by making him the pivot of the action, how to interest 
the spectators in the affairs and manners of their own class, how to produce 
a comic effect by means of dialogue, as well as by the humour of the situation. 
But he knew nothing of the development of character, and in that respect, 
without doubt, was inferior to the contemporary author of the moral play. 
Passing the Hox Tuesday play, of which we cannot be sure that it was 
anything more than a crude and entirely serious representation of the historic 
massacre which it commemorated, and of which no adequate accourir survives, 
we may turn with profit to the most popular and Iong-lived of English festival 
dramas, the St. George play. Of this Mr. Halliwell-Phillipps says that 
numerous versions are used in the north of England, and that they are doubt- 
less a degraded form of an old " mystery." * Of course, he means legendary 
miracle or saint's play. Ward more accurately describes this rural drama as a 
combination of miracle and processional pageant. As the latter, it appears 
1 In his introduction, Contributions to .arly .nglisb Popular Literature, London, 1849 ' 
privatell¢ printed. 



xlii 4n Historical I/'iew 

frequently to have formed part of a mumming or disguising, and was early 
associated with the morris-dance of Mav-dav or Christmas. The first indubi- 
table mention of a St. George pageant i's in 4  6, and would appear to refer to 
a " splendid dumb show " rather than a plav, which, as Caxton relis us, was 
presented for the entertainment of Emperor Sigismund of Almavne when he 
'" brought and gave the heart of St. George for a great and precious relique to 
King Harry the fifth." Itis, however, more than probable that the soldier 
saint had figured in saints' plays, and in popular play and pageant, long before 
this time. He had been honoured in the eastern church even in the fourth 
century, and in England there had been churches and monasteries devoted to 
him before the Norman in,'asion. On account of his fab]ed services in the 
crusade he was already the patron of individual knights, and orders of chivalry 
and even of kingdoms, when Edward III., in the vears 348-go, built the 
chapel in his honour at Windsor, confirmed him as the saint and champion of 
England and instituted the order that stili bears his name. Itis likely, indeed, 
that the ludi exhibited belote the same monarch at Christmas,  48, were to 
some extent of St. George, for **'e read that the dragon figured extensively in 
them.'-' And it would appear that when, in 4  g, the 23d April, St. George's 
Day, was '" made a major double feast and ordered tobe obser,'ed the same as 
Christmas dav, ail labour ceasing," his play was no new thing. From that rime 
on, at anv rate, the procession of St. George was one of the " pastimes yearly 
used," of which Stow telis us that they were celebrated " with disguisings, 
masks, and mummeries." Gilds were organized in his naine, and the cere- 
monv of 'Riding the George' spread over England. 3,'hen Henry V. 
visited Paris, in 42o, he was appropriately welcomed *sith a St. George 
show, and the saint appears again in a pageant of  474 pefformed at Coventrv 
in honour of young Prince Edward. 3,Ve have alreadv mentioned Sir John 
Paston's reference to the p]ay in 4-3- A long-windel and serious German 
dramatization of the legend exists in an Augsburg manuscript of the end of the 
same centurv. In ail probability the expensive miracle play of the saint that 
was acted in the crofi or field at Bassingbourne in Cambridgeshire, in  5  , was 
of the same didactic kind, but enlivened by improraptus of the villagers who 
took part. St. George and the dragon were features of the May-games at 
London, evidendy in procession, as late as 9- There appears in War- 
burton's fist a play of $t. George for England, bv 3,'entworth Smith, of the 
first quarter of the seventeenth century, and in thé latter part of that centurv, 
a droll called $t. George and tbe Dragon  as bv wav of being acted at Br- 
tholomew Fait. The play seems from an eafly date to bave been performed 
on the occasion of other festivals beides that of the Saint himself. 
 Coiffer, Hier., vol. I., p. 29.  ,Varton, H. E. P.» vol. lI., p. 72. 



of Elglish Comedy xliii 

The versions of the play best known of recent years are the Oxtordshire, 
acted during the eighteenth centur.v and taken down from an old performer 
in 853, and the Lutterworth (Leicestershire) Christmas play, acted as late 
as 863 .i Professor Child, in his Ballads, mentions another, which was 
regularly acted on Ail Souls' Day at a village a few toiles ri'oto Chester. l 
would call attention, in addition, to four others of interest ; the Derbyshire 
Christmas play," acted by mummers as late as  849, which is fuller than an), 
other and appears to me to retain traces of a fifteenth-century original ; the 
two Bassingham ( Lincoln ) Christmas plays, " 823, and the Shetland play from 
a  788 Ms., recounted in Scott's novel of Tbe Pirate. The last three make 
the connection between the St. George play proper and the sword play, x hich 
was undoubtedly common in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and of which 
the Revesby version of 779 is still extant. 4 
The following is the outline of the Derbvshire play : Enter Prologue, xvho 
is apparently the saine as ," noble soldier," " Slasher," or '" Jack," to clear 
a way for St. Gav. --Enter St. Gay, announcing himself with proper bombast, 
pretending that " from England's ground he sprung and came," and stating 
his purpose, which is to find King George. -- Enter King George, "' in search 
of his enemy," St. Gay, who as "a stranger, exposed and in danger," calls 
upon Slasher for help.- With loud vords Slasher threatens King George, 
who in his turn boasts of" close escapes," giants and dragons subdued, and 
the King of Egypt's daughter won.--They fight, and Slasher "tumbles 
down and dies."--Enter Doctor, who has "' tra,'elled " imaginatively and can 
'" fetch anv" dead man to lire again." He begins with Slasher, who signalizes 
his recoverv by summoning the "" Black Prince of Paradise, black Morocco 
king," to renev the frav. -- " Here ara I," cries that hero ; it was I who 
" sle,v those seven Turks," and it is I who no,v will "'jam King George's 
giblets full of holes, And in those holes put pebble stones ! " George doubts 
the Black Prince's ability, even though he be a "champion's squire,"-- 
they are about to fight, ,vhen Prologue intervenes with " Peace and .Quietness 
is the best," and " Enter in, owld Beelzebub !" That personage on entering 
turns out to be, in dress, a kind of Devil and Vice combined, in spirit a kind 
of Father Christmas summoning ail to drink.  This queer jumble is worth 
more space than I can afford it. Just a word or two in passing. St. Gay is 
given up by Halliwell-Phillipps as an '" addition to the calendar hot noticed 

1 Repr. in Manlv's Specimens ; the former from Notes and .9eries, Fifth Series, II. 
503-505 ; the latter from Kelly's Notices of Lei«eaer. 
 l-lalliwell's Contributiom to E. EnKL Lit. 
8 British Museum, Add. Mss. 
 Re W. Mardy, Slecimens from Folk Lore t:urnal, VII, 338-353, 



xliv ln Historical View 

elsewhere." But one observes that his squire is a foreigner, as his naine 
and garb both proclaim,  and that he is the squire of a champion. This 
limits us to the three foreign champions of Christendom, and from St. Gay's 
second speech we discover, hOt onlv that he is San Diego of Spain, but (un- 
less I ara gravely mistaken) that some author of the various generations of 
authors of this play had acquaintance with Caxton's Golden Legend of 1483, 
svhere, in the Life of St. atne the More, ,ve find the original, in oddly 
similar terres, of one altogether unintelligible phrase used bv this English make- 
shift for a Spanish champion. * Further hot verv definite but suggestive simi- 
larities with the Life of St. George add to the presumption that the Caxton 
translation of the Legenda .4urea underlies portions of this folk play. Of 
course a play of the martvrdom of St. George may bave existed earlier still, but 
if, as would seem to be the case, Voragine invented the dragon, that monster 
cannot bave played a part before *z7o-9o ; it does hot play a part even in 
the 8outh English Legendar_v of *zS, but is prominent in Caxton's narrative. 
With the play just described the Lutterworth is identical in some seven or 
eight passages, and save that there is no Black Prince, and that a Turkish 
Champion takes the place of St. Gay, the principal characters are the saine. 
The introduction of Beelzebub and a clown, with remarks appropriate to each, 
would, however, indicate that this part of the play is earlier than the amalga- 
mated Beelzebub-clown ofthe Derbvshire. Both plays preserve reminiscences 
of the crusades. As to the Oxfordshire, I can sav only that it is a rigmarole 
from history, legend, and nurserv tale, culminating in the destruction of 
the dragon (or Old Nick) and te appearance of Father Christmas. The 
Bassingham plays present the stock characters, but little of the original storv. 
They add elements of scandal and love, however, --the former in connec- 
tion with Dame Jane, 'ho tries to fasten tbe paternity of ber child on a 
'" Father's Eldest Son, And heir of all his land" ; and the latter in connection 
,vith a Fair Lady, who is wooed by Eldest Son, Farming Man, Lawyer, Old 
Man, and refuses them all, in the end apparently to accept the Fool. This 
part of the story is a li»k between the St. George plays and the sword-dance 
plays, as is also the Shetland, where St. George himself sustains the part of 
principal dancer. In the Revesbv sword-dance play, acted in * 779 by mor- 
ris-dancers, the Fait Lady of the Bassingham reappears as Cicely to refuse 

Stow speaks of mummers, " with black visors, not amiable, as if legates from some 
foreign prince.'" 
Cf. "Two halls (i. e. bulls) from 'ander rnauntain have laid me quite io," with 
Gld«n Legend, vol. IV., p.  o3, Temple lassics ed. There is no such close similarity in the 
language of the Early South English Legendary, Laul Ms., Seint Ieme» and Seint George 
(Horstmann» Ed. E.E.T.S. 



'epper-breeches, '" My father's eldest son, And heir of ail his land," 
Ginger-breeches, Blue-breeches, the Knight of Lee, and Pickle Herring, the 
Lord of Pool, in favour of Rafe the Fool. Though the phraseology of the 
Bassingham and Revesby is occasionallv the same, the latter is utterly removed 
from the St. George original save in tJe mention of dragon and worm which 
accompany the morris-dancers. How far back the Revesby sword-dance play 
may date I do not know. The dance was common on the continent in the 
fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and a similar pertbrmance with a tbol in the 
middle is recorded as taking place in UIm in 155 I- The name of the merry- 
andrew, Pickle Herring, may possibly take us back to the first quarter of the 
sixteenth century. For, as is well known, it is the usual designation for the 
clown in the 16zo collection of plays acted by the so-called English come- 
dians in Germany. According to Creizenach, I the character was introduced by 
Robert Reynolds, who was perhaps himself the Robert Pickelhïring mentioned 
in connection with an entertainment given at Torgau in I6Z 7. Floegel and 
Ebeling speak of '" der alte Pickelhering aus der Moralititïten des fùnfzehnten 
Jahrhunderts," as if he were the "old Vice"; but surely without justifica- 
tion. I know of no mention of Pickle Herring before 16zo, and since he 
still held the stage in L6wen's Prinz Pickdtwring, about the middle of the 
eighteenth century, it is not impossible that the character ,vas borrowed by 
the English sword play at a comparatively recent date. The continuance of 
the Devil and his relation to the clown in these plays are a subject of his- 
torical interest, but it would be a mistake to say, as Halliwell-Phillipps bas 
said of the Beelzebub, that either of them is "a genuine descendant of the 
Vice." 
Perhaps I should not bave staved to make these remarks, but they will, I 
hope, direct attention to a phenomenon unique in the historv of English drama. 
The St. George play is an example of how a legendary miracle, sacred in its 
origin, may pass into a folk drama of a national hero, and that again degen- 
erate into a mumming or dance ; and how this, oblivious of the original plot 
and finally of all fable, may first transform the saintly hero into a performer in 
a sword dance, as in the Shetland play, and then, as in the Revesby, elimi- 
nate even him and substitute a fool. Both literary career and literary indig- 
nity of this kind bave been escaped by the other national saint of England, 
Edward the Confessor. In earlier days he figured in frequent pageants, rec- 
ords of which are preserved, for instance, in the Old Leet Book of Coventry, 
of the years 1456 and 1471, but he readily gave way to St. George and dis- 
appeared from th« dramatic horizon. 

1 chauspiele d. engl. Kom6dianten, Einl. XCIV. 



xlvi « Historic,z/ 17ew 

5. The Devil and the Vice 

The nexus between the comic qualities of the miracle plays and those of 
the morals cannot well be made without some discussion of the rôles of the 
Devil and the Vice. The treatise which I bave belote cited, I and which 
appears to me fairly conclusive, sho*vs that the Devil of the English stage is 
originally a creation, hot of folk mythology, but of theology. He is concrete, 
to be sure, in accordance with scriptural and legendary tradition, but in the 
• mvsteries' his character is almost entirely serious, hOt ludicrous, as appears 
to be vulgarly reported. The association of the genuinely comic or satirical 
xith the conception of the Devil is first evident in later representations of that 
character, and then onlv in the case of lesser denizens of the lower world. 
The humorous scene in the Chester Harrowing between the demons and the 
alewife abandoned in hell is, tbr instance, as Dr. Deimling bas said, a late inter- 
polation. The Wakefield dramatist's contribution to the Ïudi«ium, of Tuti- 
,illus and his ilk, is about the onlï diabolic humour in the miracles; and 
that the satirical speech of the Coventrv demon in the Cospiraçv was a still 
later borrowing from Tuti,illus, I bave but little doubt. To credit the 
Devils of the earliest miracles with a tendencv and an ability to criticise man- 
nets and morals would be just as vrong as to attribute to them a buffoonery 
which accrues onlv at a later date. Of the Mephistophelian style, more 
serious than ChauCer's and more satirical than Langland's, we bave no his- 
torical trace belote the wittv Devil of Wakefield -- or his maker. The 
humour of the miracle Devils shows itself in bombastic, grotesque, or abusive 
language, rather than in anvthing of comic utterance or incident. The 
uproarious laughter caused, according to tradition, bv this character cannot, 
therefore, bave depended upon the lines of the dramatist, except in so far as 
those consist of threats, objurgation, profanity, and the like. There is little in 
the asides of the printed page, or in the rare addresses of the Devil to his 
audience, or the deportation of souls to hell  to account for amusement. 
Rewfyn, s Rybald, and Tutivillus are the onlv humorous devil-names in the 
rive cycles of which we bave been speaking i and of the shouting and tire- 
works in which ve are told the infernal spirits were vont to indulge, we find 
scarcel¢ anv mention except in the plays concerning the fall of the angels and 
the ha'rowing of hell. That the merriment of the crowd was provoked by 

I L. W. Cushman, Tbe De,il and tbe I/'ice, Halle a. S., x9oo. 
 I remember only Herod and Antichrist outside of the Digby plats and of the Cornwall 
cycle (where the devils act as chorus and carry off evervthing in sight ), and the souls of those 
alreadv damned who are claimed by the devils of the Towneley. 
/Whether the Rewfyn and Leyon of the Co. were Devils, I have my doubts. 



of E¢,/is/ Comev xlvii 

the appearance and antics of the Devil- that is to say, by the improvisation 
of the actor--and his raids upon the spectators is natural to infer. The 
dramatists themselves did not provide for close association between the spirits 
of heii and living men. The Devii addresses the audience but seldom, and 
then, perhaps, to threaten with his club. In fact, the Devil of the old 
miracles, as we usually conceive him, is an anachronism created by certain 
historians of the drama; the buffoon roaring, pyrotechnic, and tkmiliar, 
springs into prominence only with the Digby plays, and is but slowly de- 
veloped in the moral plays and interludes. Though the aspiring angels of 
the York and Chester plays "" go down" in actual fact, and the Lucifer of 
the former cycle complains of heat and smoke, there is no mention of hell- 
mouth in the account-books before z557, nor in the stage directions of 
the Digby z before we reach the Digby Paul and lllagd»lene Mss. of about 
 480-90; and even then the entries appear to be the insertions of some later 
hand. In these plays the flames of hell-mouth, the fireworks, and thunder 
are distinctive accessories ofthe Devil's presence. Still, itis hot in a miracle 
play afier ail, but in a moral--the Caste# of Pcrseverance (about 4oo)-- 
that the first stage direction of this nature is round. In the transitional 
miracle morals, Paul, lt'isdom, Magdalene, the Devil by his own account 
as well as bv stage direction "' rotes and cries." He was abusive in the 
Castell of Perseverance; but in the later morals or moral interludes he 
'" rotes and cries " for mere fun- in the Lusty 'uventus, for instance, the 
Disobedient Child, and Ill for Monev. 
Concerning the Devil even of this later birth, many false conceptions, due 
to itasuflïcient research, have obtained currency. It is comrnonly imagined 
that he was the mainspring of the play, that he came into close contact with 
human beings, that he represented phases of human character, that he was a 
comical figure, -- jester, or " roister," or butt, -- and that he heid some fixed 
relation to the Vice, who was "his constant attendant," savs Malone. 
But the Devil was the principal personage onlv in the earliest df the morals 
that survive, he rarely associated with mankind, and he assumed the human 
r61e, such as that of judge or sailor, onlv once or t,vice? In the moral plays 
not more than four or rive comic Devils are extant- the Titivillus of Man- 
kynd, the Beeizebub of the Nigromansir, the Lucifer of Like wil to Like, 
and the Devil of .411for )iloney ; and the last of these is the only roysterer of 
the lot, one of the very few to serve as butt for the Vice. Such jokes as that 
of the Devil taking "" a shrevd boy vith him" ffom the audience in IFisdom 
1 Ftrnivall, Digby Plays, p. 43 ; ten Brink, Gtscb. «ngi. Lit., II. 3zo, and Sharp': 
Dissertation on tb¢ Go. ]llysterics, ! 825. 
z In the Nigvornansiv, and the $bipvrigbts" Play of Newçast|e. 



xlviii I Historical loeiew 

are interpolations, and it is only affer the moral has passed its zenith that, 
as in Like wil to Like and the earl), comed), Friar Bacon, the Devil carries 
off the Vice-clown. As earl), as 486-çoo the moral play, Nature,-- 
called, when printed in 538, a goodl), interlude,- dispenses with the Devil 
altogether, and from that rime on the character appears onl), in some half- 
dozen extant pla.vs ofthe kind and its derivatives, and is subordinate. Towards 
the end of the sixteenth centur),, however, the Devil is revived, and in come- 
dies of concrete lire and character he frequentl), swaggers as a blusterer or 
comic personage : in Grim tb¢ CMlier, for instance, in the Knack to know a 
Knave, and Hi.,tria-Mastix, as well as seventeenth-centur), pla),s like Tbe 
D,'vil is in It and Tbe De,il is an 4ss. I bave said that his office in 
the genuine moral was not comic, neither vas it satirical. It consisted largel), 
in directing or commissioning his agents, the Vices. Pro|Csor Cushman, who 
makes this statement, further points out that this conception of the Devil did 
not develop in any popular sense, nor gain in variety in the English moral 
plays ; but that the case is altogether dissimilar in the German and French 
drama of the saine period, vhere the devils are not onl), numerous, but 
carefull), differenced as representatives of the various foibles of mankind, -- 
a rle which was assumed in England, as we shall presentl), see, by the 
Vice. 
Betveen the detached, and sometimes serious, Devil of the c),cles and the 
Vice of the moral pla),s, ever present, dominant and comical, concrete in mani- 
fold person and guise, a middle or transitional position is occupied b), the fiend 
of the later miracle and the demon of the earlier moral. Examples of the 
former are Tutivillus and his humorous associates in the ,Vakefield udi«ium, 
Lord Lucifer of the Coventrv Council (who, like the Vice, euphemizes his 
attendant Deadl), Sins), the Pr),nse of D),lles of the l[agdalene, and the sailor 
devil of the Nevcastle play ; examples of the latter are the gunpowder Belial 
of Persereeran«e, the intriguing LuciC of ll'isdam, nov in " devel), aray," 
anon as a " prowde galaunt," the far&cal and efficient Titivillus of l[ankynd, 
and Beelzebub, the judge and buffoon of the Nigrornansir. But though the 
demon of the morals bears some relation to his predecessor of the miracles, he 
is hot borrowed from the miracles. He grows out of a common tradition. 
Just as the Devi] persists in spire of lapse and change through miracle play, 
moral, and interlude into Elizabethan comed.v, so the Vice, though he did hot 
obtain so earl), a footing upon the stage. There are previsions of him in the 
later miracles and earlier morals ; he flourished in the morals of the middle 
period and the moral interludes, and there are traces of him in the regular 
comed),. He disappeared onl), in deference to the differentiated humours, 
follies, or vices of social lire, of which no control]ing Foll), or Vice ma), be 



of Eglish Comed.y xlix 

regarded as the sole incarnation,--for in the culture of them each of us 
indulges a genius of his own. 
The terre Vice is not used as the designation of a stock dramatic character 
till the appearance of Heywood's Plav of the ll'ether and Play of Love, 
belote or about '532- Itis next employed in Respublica, ,3, and Ïacke 
Ïugeler, ,53-6,. These and similar notices of that period, however, 
occur only on title-pages of plays or in lists or stage directions. The earliest 
mention of the Vice in the text of a play is round in King Darius, 6. 
It is not untii *67, with the Horestes, that we find the designation ,' used 
consistently throughout, in the title, the iist of players and the rubric." i 
But whether the generic naine of Vice was introduced bv the authors of these 
plays, or, as is more iikely, by the actors, it was a well-known designation 
of a stock figure, especially in the moral drama from * 3 o onward ; and from 
that rime was used by publishers to advance the interest of certain plays. 
Since, however, the idea of the Vice seems tobe inseparable ri'oto that of the 
moral play, the character had achieved a prominence long before it ,sas 
listed as a generic designation. Collier defines the moral, or moral inter- 
iude, as "' A drama the characters of which are allegorical, abstract, or 
symbolical, and the style of which is intended to convey a lesson fbr the 
better conduct of human lire." And the differencing quality ofthe moral is, 
as Mr. Pollard has said, " the contest between the personified powers of good 
and evil for the possession of a human soul. As the allegorical representatives 
of the good vere the Seven Cardinal Virtues, so the representatives of the 
evil were the Seven Deadly Sins and their toaster the Devil." From these 
Seven Deadly Sins or Vices, the Vice par excellence of the morals and inter- 
iudes is without doubt descended. With the opinion of Ward and Douce, 
however, that he is proved tobe of native English origin, I cannot unreserv- 
edlv concur ; nor with a statement in the thesis to which I have already 
referred, that the Germans and French had no Vice, but used instead the 
"differentiated " devil. Idleness, a Vice, though not so cailed, appears in 
the French Bien-lvisé et Mal-lvisé (c. '439), about as early as any Vice 
appears in English drama ; and the four confederates of the Devil in L' Homme 
Pécheur, Desperation, etc., perform the ofce, though they have not the 
designation, of Vice. The Hypocrisie and Simonie of Gringoire's attack 
upon L'Homme Obstiné (Julius II.), about z, are as true representatives 
of the Vice as are the corresponding figures in Tbe Nigromansir, Thrie 
Estatis, Kyng ohan, Respublica and Con.flict of Conscience. 
To understand the relations between the Vice and the moral play one 
should turn» if there were opportunity, to the manifold representations of the 
1 Cushman p. 66, 



1 Zln Historica! l'e, 

World, the Flesh, the Devil, the Seven Deadly Sins and similar allegorica 
figures in medioeval literature of other kinds than the dramatic. It must 
suflïce here, however, to consider the relation of these characters to each other 
in the later miracles and the earlier moral plays. In the pageants of the P/av 
of Paternoster the Seven Deadly Sins are represented. About the saine 
rime, in the Wakefield cycle, they are already written on the rolls of the 
Doomsdav Demon, and discussed " in especiall" by Tutivillus. In the 
Coventry Council of tbe «ws they are nev-named by their Lord Lucife 
(afier the manner of the later Vice), Pride as Honesty, Wrath as Man- 
hood, Covetousness as Wisdom, and so on. It is through the Seven Deadlv 
Sins that the Belial of St. Paul (Digby) " raynes " ; and the Saint himsel( x 
preaches against them in general and in several, calling them not only mortal 
sins, but, as if the terres ,vere synonymous, Vices and Folly. In the 
Mary 3Iagdalene they are not only personified, but, further, classified as 
attendants upon their respective kings-- Pride and Co'etyse, ministers of the 
World ; Lechery, Gluttony, and Sloth, of the Flesh ; Wrath and Envy, of 
the Devil, -- and as such they are sent into action. This distinction by classes 
is interesting because it shows that ffom a very earlv date the Vice xvas regarded 
as the servant, not of the Devil alone, but of the World and the Flesh as well. 
And it vill be noticed later that, vhile the minor Vices of the moral interludes 
frequently bear the names of specific sins, the leading Vice is still likely to be 
called by a naine xvhich sums up all the specific fins of just one of these three 
satrapies of the Flesh, the World, the Devil,- Sensualitv for the first, 
Hypocrisy or Avarice for the second, and Sedition or Riot for the third,- 
when he is not indicated by some synonym of Evil in general, such as Folly, 
Sin, lniquity, Inclination, or Infidelitv. Graduallv the minor Vices pass into 
dramatic insignificance as compared vith their principal representative, xvho 
becomes the Vice in chief. The morals before Ioo or thereabouts had one 
or more of the folloving figures: Devil, the World, the Flesh ; and their 
representatives, the Vice and minor Vices or Deadly Sins. Of these plays-- 
Perseverance, Mankynd, Mar_v Magdalene, IIïsdom, Nature, and Ever)'man, 
 all but the !ast three display the eomplete aggregation : llïsdom stars witb 
only a Devil, Nature lacks a Devil, and Everyman lacks both Devil and prin- 
cipal Vice. The morals of the middle period, 15oo to 6o, generally 
eliminate the Devil and concentrate the sins, temptations, and mischiefs in 
the Vice, sometimes with, sometimes without, his foils, the minor Vices. In 
the CasteAloi" Perseverance, about 4oo, the Deadlr Sins are " chiidren of the 
Devil " ; in Tbe PForld and Child, about IO6, hey are expressly summed 
up in one Vice,  Folly ; in Lusty uventus, Like wil to Like, and several 
1 FurnivalYs ed., Pt. II. 5o, 57, 5], 56, 54- 



af E,g/i«/ Co,,«v 

other moral interludes afier 55 o, the Vice parades as son or grandson 
to the Devil; and finally, about 578, while each of the minor Vices 
represents "one sin particularly," the Vice himself embodies "ail fins 
generally." 
It must be sufciently evident by this rime that the derivation of this 
naine, in spite of a half-dozen misleading conjectures, is no other than that 
which is obvious. I notice, however, that Mr. Pollard regards the etv- 
mology from vitium as still doubtful, " because in one of the earliest instances 
in which the Vice is specifically mentioned by naine, he plays the part of Mery 
Report, who is a jester pure and simple, xithout any conr.ection vith any 
of the Deadly Sins." But the Vice or Folly had been knosn for tso or 
three centuries in allegorica] and satirical literature, and for a century and 
a hall in the religious drama 'efore 53o, and the designation had acquired 
a supplementary and degraded connotation shen uscd in the ll'etber, acbe 
ugeler, etc., as a player's terre or means of advertisement. About his func- 
tion and habits, also, various misconceptions bave gathered. I bave, tbr in- 
stance, referred to Malone's statement that he was a constant attendant upon 
the Devil. Nothing could be more misleading. The Devil appears in at 
least two morals unattended bv a Vice of any kit.d, j and the Xice aFpears 
in twenty-five or thirty sithout a I)evil. They apFear together in but eight  
that I know of; and in only four 3 can the Vice be said to "attend." That 
he eggs the demons on to tvit or torment the Devil, I cnnot discover 
in more than two plays,- Libe rz.il ta Like, and dll far l16nt').. Since 
the days of Harsnet and Ben Jonson it bas been reported that the Vice of 
the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries ruade a practice of riding to hell on the 
Devil's back. But I have already pointed out that he does this in onlv 
one play belote 58o. The same Libe rz'il to Like is the only play in 
which he specifically " belabours the fiend." I know of no other in xhich 
that merriment was even likely to occur. In fact rnost of these attributions 
belong, not to the Vice of the morals and interludes, but to one of the later 
substitutes for him, the Vice-clown, such as Miles in Friar Bacan, or lniquity 
in 7nbe Devil i an t. 
A general view of his history shows, then, that the Vice is neither an 
ethical nor dramatic derivative of the Devil ; nor is he a pendant to that 
personage, as foil or ironical decoy, or even antagonist. The Devi| of the 
early drama is a mythical character, a fallen archangel, the anthropomorphic 



Iii 14tl Ht'storical loeiew 

Adversarv. The Vice, on the other hand, is allegorical,- typical of the 
moral fra'ilty of mankind. Proceeding from the concept of the Deadly Sins, 
ultimately focussing them, he dramatizes the evil that springs from within. 
Though at first directed bv God's Adversary, svho assails man with ternpta- 
tions from without, the Vice is the younger contemporary of the Devil rather 
than his agent. As he acquires personality, he assurnes characteristics and 
functions unknown to the Adversary, scriptural or dramatic. The functions 
svere gradually assirnilated svith those of mischief-maker, jester, and counter- 
feit-crank ; the characteristics, more and more affected by the Fool-literature 
of Wireker, Lydgate, Brandt and Barclay, Skelton, and the test (which 
included vice in Folly, and by the Fool connoted vicious characters in ail 
variety), were insensibly identified with social rather than abstract ethical 
qualities, and so came tobe distributed as tendencies or " humours " arnong 
the persons of the drama,- who themselves are no longer allegorical, but 
representative of the concrete individuals of ever.vday litC Though the 
conduct of the interlude Vice may be anything but dignified, his function 
was, accordingly, at first serious. It was only gradually, and as the con- 
flict between good and evil svas supplanted by less didactic materials,- in 
other words, as the moral became more of a play, -- that the Vice grew to be 
fàrcical, a mischief-maker, and ultimately jester. So long as he acts the 
seducer in disguise, and the marplot, he remains dramatically supreme. 
When he, however, assumes the r61e of" parasite, counterfCt-crank, or 
simple, he enhances the variety of his fascination at the expense of his 
distinctive quality; and when he once bas identified himself with the W[ll 
Summer, the actor, wag, or buffoon by profession, he plays below the func- 
tion and level of his pristine quality. The Vice proper should, therebre, 
not be confounded with the Shakespearean fool, nor with the country clown. 
The country clown or booby he in realitv never is ; indeed, in some earlier mani- 
festations t the clown exists contemporaneously svith the Vice, and is his natu- 
rai though not always complaisant quarry. Though the Vice, however, did 
hOt turn clown, the clown imperceptibly usurped qualities of the vanishing 
Vice. 
In connection with the misconception concerning the derivation of the 
Vice from the domestic fool, of course incompatible with his descent fforn 
the Deadly Sins, there lingers a report that he was ordinarily dressed in a fbol's 
habit. Such is the opinion of Klein - and Doue ; and Morle  vrites, " The 
Vice, when hot in disguise, wore  as Brandt or Barclay would bave thought 
rnost fitting  the dress of a fool." The dress of some typical fool of every- 
I Tbe Vitt and 14/'isdorne, ICing Cavnbyse, Lie, and Horete. 
" Ge«b. d. engl. Dramas, II.» p. 4--  Engliab lk'riter, VI|., p. _. 



of Elg/ish Corne« O, liii 

day iife, some social " crank,"-- yes ; but hot until the latter third of the six- 
teenth century, when the Vice was in his dotage, did he lose himself in the 
habit of the domestic fool. The Vice '" shaking his wooden dagger," of 
whom 13en Jonson gives us a glimpse in The Dcvi/is an 4ss and "/'he 8tap/e 
of New, is without doubt the domestic fool in the characteristic long coat, or 
in the juggler's jerkin with faise skirts. But we must remember that Ben 
Jonson was writing some sixty or seventy years after the Vice properly so 
cailed was in his prime. From ,4o to 7o and iater, the distinctive Vice 
of the moralities was accoutred in the costume of his rg31e, first of a Deadiv 
Sin or little " dylfe "; then ofsome social class, trade, or t.pe : messenger, 
heraid, beggar, rat-catcher, priest, pharisee, gallant, dandy, or • cit.' Occa- 
sionally he assumed a succession of costumes according to this dramatic neces- 
sitv. He was indeed frequently equipped, in addition, with horn spectacles 
and wooden dagger, and sometimes with a burlesque of ceremonious attire, 1 
or he was furnished with squibs and other fireworks,  or with hangman's rope 
or bridle. Professor Cushman surmises that he svas, even, sometimes made 
up like Punch, for instance, in Horestes and Camhyses. I don't know about 
that, but of this we mav be sure, that as a Vice he was hot distinguished 
by the traditional costume of the domestic fooi. That character, soon 
to play an important part in comed)', appropriated certain tricks and aspects 
of the Vice, but the distinctive figure of the moral drama did hOt proceed 
fi'om or ape the domestic fool of contemporary life. 
Oddly enough it has lately been asserted that this character had no part 
in the ' moralitv ' proper. An implication to the saine effect is tobe found in 
Halliwell-Phillipps's notes to llïtt and lFisdome as early as ,846 , where he 
savs that "' the Vice is the buffoon of the old moral plays which succeeded the 
Reformation." The fact is that the Vice takes part in ail the plays under 
consideration, whether cailed morals proper or moral interludes, ri'oto 4oo 
to 1578, except only II'isdom of the pre-Reformation series and the Dit- 
ohedient Child of the post-Reformation. Two other of the thirtv-odd morals 
and moral interludes, namely, the Pride of Lire and Er'ervman, resort to a 
substitute. Thev distribute the foie among minor representat]ves ofthe World, 
Flesh, and Devil, but thev do not dispense with the idea of the Vice.  From 
him proceeds most of the human interest of these earlier comedies. Like the 
inclinations that he personifies, he is first sinful, then venial, then amusing ; 

1 Cambyses ; cf. Roister Doister's array. 
I Play f Lo-e ; cf. the braggart Crackstone in To Irai. Gent., much hter. 
a In tVisdom he may be regarded as Vice and Devil (Lucifer) rolled into one ; in Ei,eryman 
he is probably represented bv the fviends who desert the hero in rime of need i in the Disobedient 
C, bild he is concrete as the prodigal son. 



liv wa¢n t]istorical lqew 

and to his tradition the comedv of a later age owes more than we are wont to 
suspect. It o'es to bim the le'elopment of certain spiritual characteristics, a 
cvnical but rollicking superiority to sham, a freedom from the thrall of social 
and religious externality, a reckless joy of living, but an aloofness, withal, and 
a humour requisite to the exercise of satire. It is, indeed, as satirist some- 
rimes virulent, but usually jocose, that the Vice is most tobe esteemed. 
In so far as the genial character of the domestic fool of Green, Lodge, or 
Shakespeare reflected his ironv and shrewd wit, some memory of bim sur- 
vived ; and the clown-Vice of Friar Bacon renews a passage or two of lais 
later career, but not every usurper of his comic appanage, his mimicry, puns, 
irrelevance, and horse-play can lay daim to be descended flore the Vice. 
The dramatic importance of this figure can therefore not be overrated. 
He forms the callida junctura between religious and secular, didactic and 
artistic, ideal and tangible, in our earlv comedv. He round a house of cor- 
rection and he left a stage. Garcios, Pilates, "Doomsdav demons, and Maks 
precede, or flit beside him ; but he, with his ancestral Sins, dependent Follies, 
and succeeding Ironies and Humours, occupies the central and the foremost 
place. Even tvhile representing the superfluity of naughtiness with an eve 
toits reprobation, he is the lire of the 'moral,'--its apology for artistic 
existence, its appeal to human interest. But when he steals a furtber 
march and rounds up for ridicule the verv components of the allegorical 
drama that are most removed flore laughter, and most liable thereto,--the 
long-faced abstractions that regard the comic spirit as sinful and are imper- 
vious to a joke,- he fulfiis his destiny. He is the dramatic sait and sol- 
vent of the moral play. At first it couldn't thrive without him ; at last it 
couldn't thrive with him. For, what raison d'être could a moral have that 
no longer regarded the comic as immoral, knew a joke at sight, perhaps 
adventured one on its own account ? Step by step with the development 
of a popular oesthetic interest in the affairs of common menthe playwright 
asserted his superiority to social and al]egorical make-believes, and the Vice 
proved his utilitv as a dramatic reagent. Once tbe Vice had gathered ail sins 
in himself, his career was flore 'inclination' to ' humour,' flore abstract to 
concrete, from the moral to the typical, the one to the many, and so from 
the service of allegory to that of interlude, moral and pithy, but merry, ail in 
preparation for farce, and social and romantic comedy. 

6. The Relation between Miracle, Moral and Interlude 
An unfortunate misapprehension has obtained currencv to the effect that 
there was a deliberate transition, chronological and logicaf, from the miracle 



of English Comed.y lv 

cycle to the "morality," and thence to a something entirely different, called 
the interlude ; and itis supposed that definite advances in the development of 
comed), were ruade pari passu with this transition, h is even said, b), one 
of the most genial and learned of English scholars, who of course was hot 
intending anything by way of scientific accuracy, at the rime, that '" in the 
progress of the drama, Moralities foilowed Mysteries, and vere succeeded by 
Interludes. When folk tired of Religion on the Stage they took to the incul- 
cation of morality and prudence; and when this bored them they set up 
Fun." t But the moral play - was rather a younger contemporary and com- 
plement of the miracle than a follower, or a substitute for it. Moreover, 
allegory in the acted drama commanded the attention of the public contempo- 
raneously with the scriptural plays of the later fourteenth centur.v; in iitera- 
ture it had occupied attention long belote. People, therefore, did hot wait 
until they were tired of religion upon the stage, before taking to the inculcation 
of morality ; nor could they bave hoped to escape religion by anv such sub- 
stitute. Moral plays, like plays which were originall}, liturgical, aimed at 
religious instruction. But as the scriptural-liturgical illustrated the forms of 
the church service and its narrative content, the moral illustrated the sermon 
and the creed. The former dealt with history and ritual, the latter with 
doctrine ; the former made the religious truth concrete in scriptural figures 
and events, the latter brought it home to the individual by allegorical 
means. The historical course of the drama was not from the scriptural play 
to the alegorical, but from the collective miracle and collective moral, prac- 
tically contemporary, to the individuai miracle an individual moral. The dra- 
matic quality of the moral was, as we shall presently remark, not the saine as 
that of the miracle, but it neither supplanted nor fully supplemented that ofthe 
miracle. 
The distinction between ' morality' and "interlude' bas likewise been 
unduly and illogically emphasized. The former terre mav properly be said to 
indicate the content and aire of a drama ; the latter, its garb and occasion ; 
but the essential characters of the moral play, the human hero and the represen- 
tatives of good and evil contending for his soul, mav be common to interlude 
and ' morality' alike, and both terres may with justice refer to the saine 
drama. After 15oo the r61e of hero is, to be sure, sometimes filled bv 
an historical character, or by one or mcre concrete personages representative 
of a type ; but it must hot be supposed that the play possessing such a hero is 
therefore to be called an interlude, for similar heroes are to be round in the 
marais before 15oo. Nor should the statement be accepted that morals are 
 Furnivall, Digb_v Pla_v, Forewords xiii. 
• Z Never ' Morality ' to our ancestors ; thar is a futile borrowing from the French. 



lvi .Cn Historical Iiew 

distinguished flore inter]udes bv the presence in the former of both Devii and 
Vice ; for several inter]udes of a ]ater date bave both Devil and Vice, while 
some of the ear]ier mora]s, ,vritten belote I oo, have but one or the other of 
these eharaeters, or neither. * The attempt to charaeterize the moral by its 
professed didactic intent, and the interlude by the Jack thereof or the profes- 
sion of mirth, is equally unavailing ; for that maniCt moral, the Pride of Life, 
one of the earliest extant, makes explicit promise in its prologue " of mirth 
and eke of kare" from " this out gaine" ; while M, ulkynd, a moral of * 46  
to 48, which advertises no amusement, is as full of it as anv late interlude. 
On the other hand, several plays written after 68, cal'ling themselves 
'" comedies or enterludes," and promising brevitv and mirth, are tedious. 
But, for the advertisement, sub-title, or specification of the play we must of 
course hold the publisher, and not the author, generally responsible. The 
common belief that ' moralities' were succeeded by ' interludes' is prob- 
ablv due in large part to the fact that ' interlude' has been used in England 
at different periods for entirelv different kinds of entertainment, some ofwhich, 
notably that to which Collier in, 831 restricted the terre, -- the play after the 
style of Heywood, --were of later production than the moral. But other 
ki'nds of ' interlude' date back to  3oo, and precede the first mention of the 
moral play ; while iater kinds include the moral, and finally are synonymous 
with any humorous and popular performance. Collier's restriction of the 
terre was, therefore, unfortunate, h interpreted a genus as a species ; for, 
although the interlude was originally anv short entertainment, occupying the 
pauses between graver negotiations of the palate or intellect, it had, in the 
course of its history, acquired a significance almost as broad as "drama' 
itself. The interlude was of various form and content and covered many 
species. As farce, the interlude anticipated moral plays ; as allegorical drama, 
it absorbed them ; and as comedy, itis their younger contemporary, Itis 
hot merely the p]ay after the style of John Heyvood. h is long or short ; 
religious, moral, pedagogic, political, or doctrinal ; scriptural, allegorical, or 
profane ; elassical or native ; imaginative or reproduetive of the commonplaee ; 
stupid or humorous; satirical or purely comic, h seems to me, therefore, 
unwise to perpetuate a distinction between moral pla.vs and interludes which 
was hot recognized by those who wrote and heard the plavs in question. 
The reduction of the number of actors, the abbreviation of the play, the 
concentration of the plot, wherever these exist in the later morals or moral 
interludes, are hot evidence of a change of kind, but mere]v of a natural evo- 
lufion through a period of some two hundred years. When ten Brink says 
1 llisdom bas only Lucifer ; Nature bas only Sensuality and minor ïces ; P,ide of Lif 
had Devils in ail probability, but no Vice, for Mirth is hot one ; E.,o').ma has neither. 



that the interlude was the species best adapted to further the development of 
dramatic art, we must understand by interlude the individuai, as opposed to 
the collective drama, -- or the occasional performance by professionals for the 
delectation, and sometimes at the order, of private persons or parties, as opposed 
to expository or perfunctory play», plays manipulated by crafts, or associated 
with rimes, places, and ends external to art. The improvement in scope and 
elasticity which marks the individual play is due to various causes : to patron- 
age, which prefers amusement to instruction, and the work of artists to that 
of journeymen ; to the development accordingly of a bread-and-butter profes- 
sion of acting, with its accompanying stimu/i of necessity and opportunity. 
Poetic invention, dramatic constructiveness and style, are sometimes spurred 
by hunger ; they are always responsive to the appreciation of the cultivated, 
and maybe to the reward. 

7- The 01der bIorals in their Relation to Comedy 

The remaining dramas within the compass of this sur,'ey mav be considered 
in the folio,ring order: first, the older morals and moral interludes, between 
the years ,4oo and , çzo ; second, various experiments of native and foreign, 
classical and romantic, origin which distinguish a period of transition extend- 
ing approximately ri'oto * 5zo to , 553 ; and, third, some nine or ten plays 
of prime importance which succeed these and unite, in one wav or another, 
qualities of structure and aire hitherto distinctive of separate dramatic kinds. 
The period during which these plays, which I shall venture to call polytypic, 
were produced, roughly coincides with the years  ç4ç to ,g66, and among 
these plays are the first English comedies reallv worthy of the naine. We 
must then notice a group of rudimentary survivals, some of u hich, falling 
between ,55o and '57o, illustrate simply an artificial adaptation of the 
• moral' species, while other few, appearing between *553 and ,gSo, are a 
persistent flowering of the decadent stock, fruitless in kind but genuine in comic 
quality. We shall finally pass in brief re¢iew the crude romantic plays of mor- 
als or intrigue or popular tradition writte** between 157o and , ç9 o. And if 
it were hot for lack of space, we should also glance at the satirical comedies 
which appeared when Shakespeare was beginning and Greene ,vas ceasing ; 
but, so far as possible, I must omit ail subjects to which ara" consideration bas 
dsewhere been accorded in this volume. 
A sympathetic examination of the older morals--those that were pro- 
duced before  5 zo -- will reveal, even though the period is comparatively early, 
a twofold character of composition. We find, on the on¢ hand, plays inter- 



lviii wttl I]istorical l/'iew 

pretative of idea]s of lire, constructive in character, re]ying upon the funda- 
menta]]y a]legorica], and making principa]]y for a didactic end. x, Ve find, on 
the other hand, p]ays that dea] with the actual bave a critica] aire, reproduce 
appearances and manners, and tend toward the amusing and satirica]. 
Of the half-dozen mora]s that ruade for the deve]opment of constructive 
or interpretative comedy, one of the ear]iest (about 4oo } and most impor- 
tant was the Caste//of Perse,,erance. In the qua]ity of its dramatic devices 
it sustains a close relation to the Digby Magda/cne,  the siege of the Caste]l 
bv the Seven Deadlv Sins, and their repulse under the roses which the Virtues 
have discharged. It a]so makes use of characters already prominent in the 
e]eventh Coventry play, the Pax and Misericordia, who there, as here, intercede 
tbr mankind. Collier calls this a well-constructed and much varied allegory, and 
savs with good reason that its completeness indicates predecessors in the saine 
kind. It is itself an earlv treatment of a fruitfu] theme, variouslv hand]ed 
in later plays like Marlowe's Do, tor Fau,tus, and in narratives like The Ho/y 
ll'ar. Though the abstractions are hot of a high]y dramatic character, sti]l one 
or two of them,- for instance D«tractio, the Vice, who is a cousin of the 
Coventrv Backbiter, and of Ittç,idia, ,' who dwellvth in Abbevs ofte," fore- 
shadow the comedy of manners and satire, that is to say, the cmedy of criti- 
cism. Other mora]s or moral inter]udes of the constructive kind, which I 
must forbear to describe, even though they contributed in one wav or another 
to the improvement of dramatic consciousness or skill, are the Pridé of Lfe, of 
antiquity perhaps as high as the preceding ; the llïsdom that is Christ,  480- 
 49 o, a comedy in the media?val sense, insomuch as it portrays the u]timate 
triumph of a hero in his contest with temptation ; Mundus et In.fans, printed 
t 22, but written perhaps bv the beginning of the century, which, beside 
giving us a vivid satirical picture of low lire, makes a twofold contribution 
to the technique of comedy, -- an iteration of crises in plot, and a sequence of 
changes in the character of the hero ; Skelton's MagoE,cettce,    - r, 23, 
significant for " vigour and vivacity of diction," and his Nigromansir, s.ritten 
somewhat earlier, which, though now lost, appears by Warton's account to 
bave contributed, by its attack upon ecc]esiastica] abuses, to the beginnings of 
satirical comedy ; the Moral/e Plav of the Somonynge of E:,er.man, printed 
belote  3 , but of uncertain date-of composition,  a traged to be sure, 
but "" one of the most perfect allegories ever formed." All these, even when 
hot purposive]y comic or even entertaining, assist the dramatic presentation of 
an imaginative ideal ; occasiona]lv also, though less directly, thev contribute 
to dramatic satire and the portrayal of manners. 
Of moral plavs written belote   zo that contributed to the comedv of real 
life and critical intent we still bave three or four. Mankynd--somewhere 



of Engish Comedy lix 

between 46 and 485--is of prime importance to the comedv of the 
actual, for practically its only claire to consideration as an allegorical or didac- 
tic production is that it maintains the plan and purpose of the moral play. 
Its dramatic tendency is altogether awav from the abstract. ]n spire of its 
stereotyped Mercie and Myscheff, its minor Vices, and its Devil, itis a 
somewhat coarse but amusing portrayal of the manners of conternporary 
ne'er-do-weels. Attach no more meaning to the names Newgyse, Nowa- 
days, and Nowte than the chuckling audience did, or change them to Hum- 
yngton of Sanston, Thuolay of Hanston, and Pycharde of Trumpyngton, 
and you perceive at once that the individuality, conversation, and behaviour 
ofthese characters, and even of the hero, when he is not" holver than ever 
was ony of his kyn," are hardly less natural and concrete than those of Eng- 
lishmen immortalized by Heywood, Udall, and William Stevenson. The 
plot, tobe sure, is dramatically futile, the incidents farcical, the merriment 
anything but refined ; but there are fC merrier successors of the Wakefield 
Tutivillus than his namesake here, who, coming "' invysybuil," cometh for ail 
that " with his legges under him " and " no lede on his helvs" to inform 
the sanctimonious hero that "a schorte preyere thyrlyth hewyn" and the 
audience that "' the Devil is dead." Like the devil-judge ofthe A)gromansir 
and the devil-sailor of the 8hipwrights' P/a,, he bas shaken off his biblical 
conventions (if he ever had any), he associates f]nniliarly with characters of 
all kinds, and is marked bv his grotesque devices as a wilful worker of confu- 
sion, the marplot ofthe piay. The dog-Latin of the Vice Mvscheff stands 
half-wav between that of the Wakefield plays and that of Roistcr Doistcr and 
'hers.tes; and the Sain Wellerisms of Newgyse are a fine advance in the 
reprooeuction of the vulgar. His " Beware! quod the goode-wyff, when 
sche smot of here husbondes hede," and his " Quod the Devill to the 
fferys," and other gayeties perilous to quote  there is something Rabelaisian 
in all this. So Nowte and Nowadays, with their racv idioms, their varie- 
gated oaths, and "allectuose ways," are to the manner born, neither new 
nor old ; they are of the picaresque drama that finds a welcome in every age 
and land. t is vorth while to notice also the parallelism of cruditv and 
progress in the technical devices of the action : on the one hand, the exchange 
of garments by which a change of motive is symbolized, a ruse that only 
gradually yields to the manifestation of character by means of action ; and on 
the other hand, the legitimate and dramatic parody of a scene in court. 
The concrete element so noteworthy in Mankynd is further developed in 
the '" Goodlr Interlude of Nature, compylyde by" Archbishop Morton's 
chaplain, Henry Medwall, between 486 and 5oo. This author must 
bave possessed a remarkably vivid imagination, or bave enjoyed a close, 



1× It Historica! 

acquaintance than might be expected of one of his cloth with the seamy side 
of London ; for there are fC racler or more realistic bits of description in 
our early literature than the accourir given by Sensuality of Fleyng Kat and 
Margery, of the perversion of the hero by the latter, and of her retirement 
,vhen deserted to that house of" Stravt Religyon at the Grene Freres hereby," 
where ', all is open as a gose eye." Though the plot is not remarkable, 
nor the mechanism of it, for almost the only device availed of is that of 
feigned names, still the author's insight into the conditions of iov lire, 
his common sense, his proverbial philosophy, his humorous exhibition of 
the morals of the day, and his stray and sudden shafts at the foibles of 
his own religious class, would alone suffice to attract attention to this work. 
And even more remarkable than this in the historv of comedy is Medwall's 
literary style : his versification excellent and varied, his conversations witty, 
idiomatic, and facile. Indeed, he is so far beyond the ordinary convention 
that he writes the first bit of prose tobe round in out drama. 
Several of the characteristics of Mankynd are carried forward also in the 
moral ', interlude," named, hot for its hero Free Will, but for its Vice, 
Hvckescorner. It appears to have been written between 1497 and 
T-he upper limit of production is fixed by the reference to Newfoundland, 
and perhaps by the fact that in the same year Locher's translation of the 
Narrenschiffappeared ; the lower limit by the mention of the ship Regent, 
which ,vould hot probably bave been referred to as existing after 51z. 1 
Indeed, the mention of the ship .ames mav associate the lower limit with 
5o3, the date of the Scotch marriage. TJe tendency of this moral is dis- 
tinctively didactic,--to denounce the folly that scoffs at religion, -- but in 
quality it smacks more of comedy than any preceding play. Its value ,vas 
long ago ackno,vledged by Dr. Percs'. "" Abating the moral and religious 
reflections and the like," says he, " the piece is of a comic cast, and con- 
tains a humorous display of some of the vices of the age. Indeed, the author 
has generally shown so little attention to the allegorical that we need only to 
substitute other names to his personages, and we have real characters and 
living manners." The plot is insignificant, but the situations are refreshingly 
humorous, and one of them, the setting of Pity in the stocks, is ne,v. The 
local references are frequent, and the dialogue is more sprightly than even 
that of Nature. H,'ckescorner is in many ways the model of another im- 
portant play of whch we shall soon bave reason to speak, the Interlude of 
Youth. 

1 I sec no reason for assurning with Professor Brandi (.ff.ellen u. Forscbungen, XXVIII.) 
that the ioss of the avy bound for Ireland ii. 6-6, has reference to the destruction of 
the ReKent by the French, 1 lZ. 



of EnglisA Comedy lxi 

While the plot of the New I»terlude and Mery of tbe h5ture of tbe Four 
Elements, calls for no special notice, it interests us because in purpose itis hot 
moral, but scientific, and in conduct makes use of comic and commonplace 
means not previously availed of. The humour proceeds hOt simply from the 
jumble of oaths, nicknames, proverbs, gibes, bad puns, transparent jokes, 
mimicry, Sain Wellerisms, and nugae «anorae of which the talk of most Vices 
consists, but from the cleverly managed verbal misunderstanding between the 
,'ice and the Taverner, the irre]evant question, and the humorous employ- 
ment of snatches and tags from popular songs. The introduction of a 
character representing a trade, such as that of the Taverner, who enumerates 
sixteen kinds of wine, and '" by his face seems to love best drinking," is, of 
course, novel, but is hot without precedent in the miracle plays. This 
interlude was printed in  5  9 by its author, John Rastell, evidently soon after 
it was written. 
When we consider that the Four Elements vas written bv a friend of Sir 
Thomas More, and that, like the plays of John t-Ieywood, another of More's 
friends, it depends for much of its effect upon its gibes at womankind, we are, 
perhaps, assisted in realizing the extent to which the literary taste of the dav 
still indulged in this primitive form of amusement, and the distance which was 
yet to be covered belote comedy could safely avail itself of the feminine ele- 
ment as itis,- witty and practical, as we]] as tender,- and so prepare to 
fulfil its peculiar function as the conserver of society. For, until it recognizes 
that women constitute the social other-half, the comic spirit has hot corne 
into full possession of its possibilities ; it has hot produced comedy, for it bas 
not given us a full and undistorted reflex of life. This is a fact so rarely con- 
sidered that I cannot refrain groin quoting Mr. George Meredith. "" Comedy," 
he says, in his excellent essay on its Idea  "" comedv lifts women to a station 
offering them free play for their wit, as thev usually show it, when they have 
it, on the side of sound sense. The higher the comed)', the more prominent 
the part they enjoy in it.. The heroines of comedv are like women 
of the world, hot necessarily heartless for being clear-witted : they seem so to 
the sentimentally reared only for the reason that they use their wits, and are 
hot wandering vessels crying for a captain or a pilot. Comedv is an exhi- 
bition of their battle with men, and of men with them: and as the two, 
however divergent, both look on one object, namely, lire, the gradual simi- 
larity of their impressions must bring them to some resemblance. The comic 
poet dares to show us men and women coming to this mutual likeness ; he is 
for saying that, when the)" draw together in social lire, their minds grow 
liker ; just as the philosopher discerns the similarity of boy and girl, until the 
girl is rnarched a.way to the nursery." Of course, if the ways of man and 



lxii ln Historic«l lriew 

maid in society ever grew to be exactly alike, comedy ,vould die of inanition. 
Consequently, though I sav that comedy requires for the sexes equality of 
social privilege, I do not mean identity. The o'na/oepba of the sexes-- such 
as some extremists, political and pedagogical, project- would just as surely 
destroy comedy as in former davs the inequality of the sexes dwarfed it. The 
sentimental and romantic give-and-take is as essential to society as the intel- 
lectual, and as essential to comedy as to society. 

8. The Dramatic Contribution of the Older Morals 

Before discussing the period of transition upon which comedy now enters, 
it will be advantageous to determine, if possible, what contributions to the 
methods of comedy should be credited distinctively to this moral or moral 
interlude during the years that preceded the change, that is, from 138o to 
! çzo. Certainly not the introduction of the separate play, as is frequently 
supposed, nor the substitution of immediate and familiar interests for those 
that were remote, nor of the invented plot for the traditional, and the signifi- 
cant for the spectacular. Though some of these features distinguish the 
evolution of the allegorical play, one and another of them is also to be recog- 
nized at as early a period, or earlier, in those forms of the drama, kindred 
and unrelated, that I bave already described,--the miracle, the saint's play, the 
farce, and the secular festival play. I should say that, so far as the materials of 
drama are concerned, the advances peculiar to the allegorical play were, from 
the use of the scriptural dramatis persona, frequently instrumental and therefore 
wooden, to the use of the dynamic ; and from the historical or traditional indi- 
vidual to the representative of a type. These are substitutions important to 
our subject, for, that the individual should corne to the front is, as ten Brink 
has vell said, a characteristic of traged), whereas in comedy it is the typical 
that is emphasized, to the end that in an example which is typical the follies 
of the age may be liberally, and at the saine time impersonally, embodied and 
chastised. Bv virtue of its didactic purpose and its allegorical form, more- 
over, the moral play must ascribe to its dramatis person,e adequate motives of 
action. It therefore must and does make an attempt, even though rude, at 
the preservation of psychological probability in the analvsis and development 
of these motives. Once the dramatic person has been labelled with the name 
of a quality, not as appraised from without and denoted bv a patronvmic 
common to dozens beside himself, but from within and speciied by his étho- 
nvmic (if I may coin the word), he is no longer a chance acquaintance of the 
dramatist or the public, but the representative of an ethical family. In th, 



of Engh'sh Gomedy lxiii 

moral play the characters stand for or against some convention, -- cducational, 
ethical, political, religious, -- that is to sa.v, social in the broadest sense. XVith 
the advent of such characters, therefore, the social drama receives an impulse. 
Its hero ser'es to justify or to satirize an institution ; for that end he exists. 
And therefore in the handling of motives the moral makes a genuine advance 
in the direction of comedy, both critical and ideal. 
We notice next that the author of this kind of drama finds it necessary to 
devise situations for exploiting the idiosyncrasies of his principal characters ; 
and that, even though the characters be disguised as abstractions, the friction 
of what is d)'namic with what is real results in something vivid and concrete. 
I do hOt mean to say that the dramatist has learned how to deveiop character, 
but how to display or manifest it. Skill in the portra.val of character in 
process of growth came but slowly, and with the passage of the allegorical play 
into the drama of real lire. As to the portra.val of motives and emotions in 
their complexity, that is an art rnuch more refined, to which the writers ofthe 
moral never attained, even though they enriched their abstracti6ns with borrow- 
ings from theologians, philosopher, and poets, for in dealing with abstractions 
at ail thev were dealing with life at second hand. Indeed, complex char- 
acters can hardly be round in English dranaa befbre the various tentative dra- 
rnatic species had merged themselves in the polytypic plays with which 
comedy, properly so called, ruade its appearance. The allegorical dramatists 
round also, like the writers of the later miracle and farce, that critical situations 
demanded plain language and unsophisticated manners ; and if, in these respects, 
the realisrn of the moral excels that of the earlier miracle, itis perhals because 
of the superior dynamic quality of the moral dramatis persona. 
Mr. Courthope and other writers on the drama bave conjectured that the 
improvernent characteristic of the allegorical pla.vvright was one to which he 
was driven of necessity, namel.v, the introduction, and consequently the in- 
vention, of a continuous plot. But there xvas nothing new in the invention of 
plot. The novehy, if any, was in the distinctively comic nature of the plot- 
movement most suitable to the purpose of this kind of drama. In tragedy, 
tlae movement must be econornic of its ups and downs : once headed down- 
ward, it must plunge, with but one or two vain recovers, to the ab)'ss. In 
comedy, on the other hand, though the movement is ultimately upward, the 
crises are more numerous ; the oftener the individual stumbles without break- 
ing his neck, and the more varied his discomfitures, so long as thev are tern- 
porary, the better does he en.oy his ease in the cool of the day. Tragic 
effects may be intense and longer drawn out, but they must be fes' ; in 
comedy, the effects are manv, sudden, fleeting, kaleidoscopic. You can en- 
joy a long, delicious shudder, but hot a long-spun joke, or a joke frequently 



lxiv 4n [-[istorica! liew 

repeated, or many jokes of the saine kind. Hence the peculiar movement of 
the plot in comedv. Now, the novelty of the plot in the moral play, lav in 
the fact that the movement sas of this oscillating, upvard kind,--a kind 
unknown as a rule to the miracle, whose conditions were less fluid, and to the 
farce, which was too shallow and superficial. "Fhe heart of the ' moral' 
hero was a battleground ; as in comedy, the interest was in the vicissitudes of 
the conflict and the certaintv of peace. Though the purpose of the moral 
play was didactic and reformatory, its doctrine was optimistic and its end to 
encourage ; and one of the distinctive contributions of the moral play to the 
English comedy was the movement suitable to these conditions, not the in- 
troduction ofa continuous or connected plot. When Mr. Courthope further 
speaks of the moral plays as if they were the sole link of connection between 
the later miracle plays and the regular drama, and implies that the " moralitv " 
was unique in its introduction of a leading personage, who mav be called "the 
hero of the play, he is attribating toit qualities that existed in contemporary 
species of the dramatic kind. • As to the statement that the moral play arose, 
as if a new kind of play, from some modification of the miracle play, on the 
one hand bv secular and comic interests, and on the other by allegorical 
motives and materials, I think that sucient has been elsewhere said in this 
article to show that secular and comic interests existed in the miracle play with- 
out altering its essence, both befbre and after the moral had come into promi- 
nence, and that allegorical motives and materials had developed themselves into 
the moral pageant and play before the miracle was visibly affected bv them. 

9- The Period of Transition: Farce and Romantic Interlude 

The period of experimentation or transition, which mav be said to extend 
flore Szo to 5ç3, is characterized especially bv the grdual abandonment 
of allegorical machinery and abstract material. The forward movement is, 
of course, primarily due to the change from the medioeval attitude of mind to 
that of the renaissance, from artificial thought whose medium, the symbol, suc- 
cee.led in concealing more than it expressed, to experience. Of the social and 
»litical conditions which prepared the s av for the transition so far as English 
c»medv is concerned or that shaped comedv once on its way, I cannot here 
speak, but the following would appear among purelv literary antecedents: 
First, the French sotties and farces, the technical ad satirical qualities of 
which were a stimulus to invention, not onlv in England, but in ltalv and 
Germanv ; second, the disputations and debats, veritable whetstones f wit 
and a polish of words ad unguem; third» the collateral development of a 



of English Comedy Ixv 

farce interlude in England, composed in Latin and English, probably also in 
Norman French, but generally spontaneous, and wholly unfbrced ; fourth, 
the adaptation to dramatic and satirical purposes of contes, .faMiaux, hot,elle, 
and their English translations and congeners,--more especially the Chaucerian 
episode with its concrete characters and contemporary manners ; fifh, the 
movement of native romance urged during the fifteenth and earher sixteenth 
centuries by contact with Spanish and halian ideals and their fictions of 
character, adventure, and intrigue ; sixth, the discipline of Plautiue and Te- 
rentian models, and of the Latin and vernacular comedies which imitated 
them, as well as of the Latin school plays which flourished in Holland and 
Germany during the latter hall of the fifieenth centurv ; and seventh, the 
examples set by Kirchmayer and other German controversialists in the 
attempted adaptation of the moral play to historical or quasi-historical condi- 
tions with a view to satirical ends. 
The plays that call for consideration in this section and the next mav be 
classified roughly as farces, romantic interludes, school interludes, and contro- 
versial morals. Each of these kinds reaches a culmination conformable to its 
nature, within the limits that I bave chosen for the period ; and each bas its owla 
place in the history of comedy. For it must hot be supposed that, because 
a pastoral farce like the Mak did hot develop into independent existence, or 
because moral interludes gradually exhausted their career towards the end of 
the sixteenth centtlry, such species had no influence in maturing English 
comedy. The peculiar quality and charm of out comedv is that, deriving 
from sources hot only distinct, but remote in literarv habitat, -- scriptural, 
allegorical, farcical, pastoral, romantic, classical, historical, or purely native 
and social, -- it bas hot dissipated itself in a thousand streamlets, but bas 
carried down deposits ffom each tributarv at its best. In Loee'« Labor'« 
Lost, Twa lngry l¢'omen, ls l-ou Like "lt, Old Ilï¢,es' Talc, E,erv Man 
in His Humour, we find, as in a miner's pan, ' colours' from vastly d]fferent 
soils, 
Of the indebtedness of comedy to the parody of religious festivals I bave 
already spoken, and I have little doubt that at later periods English comedy 
continued to draw devices, if hot inspiration, from performances whose occa- 
sion was a revoit against the straimess of religion. One, at least, of the 
interludes of John Heywood is closelv similar to the French Farce de Pe'rnet, 
and that such farces were, in motive, first a gloss upon the lessons of the divine 
service, then a diversion, and finally a factor in the extra-ecclesiastical Feast of 
Fools, any reader of Petit de Julleville will readilv concede. It is impossible 
that the comic features and comic characters of the farces acted by the clerc« 
de la Ba«ocbe, such as that of the immortal Maltre Patbelin, should hot bave 



!xvi ln Historical l'iew 

affected the dramatic invention of contemporary and succeeding Englishmen, 
conversant as manv of them were with the literature and society of France. 
And a like effect might naturally be expected to have been exercised by the 
sotties of the contemporary enfants sans souci; for, through the fourteenth and 
fifteenth centuries, drama of that kind convulsed the sides of merrymakers 
south of the Channel. Such were the occasion and motive of farces and 
sotties. So far as they employed the plot of domestic intrigue tbr their pur- 
poses of satire, I have little doubt that they drew freely upon the Latin elegiac 
comedies of which I have already spoken as the favourite dramatic species of 
the twelfih and thirteenth centuries. The Farce de Pernet has connection 
with more than one of those imitations of Terentian intrigue. It bas, also, 
like manv of its kind and of elegiac comedies as well, a kinship with one and 
another popular raie. The church, then, seems to have fiarnished the oppor- 
tunity for these farces, and for some as an object of satire the motive; the 
contes and .làbIiaux of the twelfth, thirteenth, and tburteenth centuries fur- 
nished much of the material ; Latin comedy, its mediœeval and renaissance 
successors, cannot have failed to influence the form. 
It will be, of course, recalled that as early as the Mak of the Townelev 
plays, a farce which is hOt umvorthv of comparison with Maître PatheIin, 
the English InterIudium de CIerico et PueIIa, probably of the thirteenth cen- 
tury, also indicated an acquaintance with the technique of the farce species. 
Undoubtedly such interludes were a common feature at entertainments of vari- 
ous kinds, and had matured in the ordinary course into fixed form. But thev 
were frequently extemporaneous, were written for fleeting occasions, and 
might readily be Iost. I am inclined therefore, to look upon the dramatized 
anecdotes assigned to Heywood as luckv survi'als of a form which, since it 
had been long cultivated both in England and France, mav bave attained to 
a degree of excellence belote he took it up. The resemblance of these farces 
to the French is ofien such that, as M. Jusserand sa.vs, one cannot but ques- 
tion whether Heywood had hot some of the old French &amas of the type in 
his hands. Since Mr. Pollard bas discussed the question in this volume, it is 
unnecessary for me to pursue it farther. In anv case, it is to the honour of 
Heywood that he brought to focus the characteristic qualities of the Chauce- 
rian episode, the farce and the dramatic debate. '" This I write," savs he, 
" hOt to teach, but to touch." In his work, accordingly, we find narratives 
of single and independent interest, if hot exactly plot, and an adaptation of 
that which is abstract to purposes of amusement. We find characters with 
motive, and sometimes personality, contemporary manners, witty dialogue, 
satire; and in at least the Plav of Love, an adumbration of the sentimental, 
dare we say romantic, possibilities of comedy, to be realized when it should 



of En/fs/ Conel'/y lxvii 

nave thrown allegory and scholasticism to the winds. The Laundress in the 
14rettter envisages fleetingly the straits of lire and the recompense ; and in the 
P/ay of Love, the personification of various phases of that passion is a kind of 
glass through which we darkly divine the motives of many later comedies. 
There is, however, with the single exception of the Vice's trick in Love, no 
action which can be called dramatic in Heywood's undoubted plays ; for, as 
Mr. Pollard reminds us, the Pardouer and ".o/mn, although they avail them- 
selves of " business " in order to develop a plot, bave not the significance of 
comedy proper. 
To understand the nature of the movements that folloxs" we must recur, 
though with the utmost brevity, to the history of later Latin-ccmedv. The 
comic recitals of the twelfih century and thereabout 'ere succeedéd by the 
comedy of the Italian humanists, still in Latin, but dramatic in form and appar- 
ently in intent, which, though it availed itself, like the elegiac school, of the 
outworn situations and devices of scabrous amours, contributed considerably to 
the enrichment of the romantic strain by the passion svith svhich it invested its 
material, sometimes, also, to the cause of realism bv its unconscious, though 
often repulsive, accuracy of detail. Although. Plautts is to some extent culti- 
vated, the Terentian model was still the thvourite with youthful imitators until 
study of the older poet svas revived by the recovery ofthe tselve lost plays and 
their introduction to Roman circles in 14z 7. The Phi/o/ogia of Petrarch's 
earlier years is accordingly fashioned in the style of Terence, and is even 
reported, for it is unfortunately lost, to bave surpassed its classical forbears. 
Written about ,33 I, it was the first product of the new dramatic school, 
and was succeeded by a numerous train of ambitious eff-usions,--university 
plays we might call most of them,--a few witty, some sentimental, many 
libidinous, ail very young, and still ail, or nearly ail, cleverly and regularly 
constructed. It concerns us here but to mention the Pau/us of Vergerio, 
which Creizenach dates 137o, Aretino's Po/iscene, about 139 o, Alberti's 
Phi/odoxeos, 14,8, Ugolino's Phi/ogena, some rime belote 1437, and Picco- 
lomini's CrMs, 1444 .* Of these erotic comedies,--pornographic were Fer- 
haps a more fitting terre, -- the most popular seems to bave been the Phi/ogena ; 
the most eminent, according to Creizenach (but I don't see why), the Crisis. 
The Pau/us pretends to aire at the improvement of youth ; one might for a 
moment imagine that it was intended to be a prodigal son play. But in none 
of these plays is there either punishment or repentance. In fact the unaffected 
verve svith which they display the ,vantonness of lire is hOt the least of their 
contributions to comedy. The Po/iscene is notable for its modernity of man- 
1 For some of these see Quadrio, Della 8toria • della Ragione d" ogni Poesia Vol. III. 
Lib. I I., 5 ] et se. 



lxviii ætl Historical Ioeiew 

ners and of morals. The sole instance among these plays, so far as I can 
ascertain, of noble sentiment and harmless plot is the Philodoxeos. The use 
of abstract names for the characters lends it, indeed, somewhat the appearance 
of a moral interlude. 
Of much greater value, however, in the history of the acted drama, and 
of doser bearing upon the English comedy, were the representations of Plautus 
and Terence, first in the Latin and ultimatelv in the vernacular, ,vhch marked 
the iast quarter of the fifteenth century in the courts of northern ltaly. These 
in turn were but stet3ping-stones towards such dramatic dialogues as the Tirnone 
of Bojardo, 494, and the still more significant experments of Arosto and 
Bibbiena--thefirst romantic comedies in prose and in the native tongue. 
The authors of the Suppositi (acted in 15o 9) and the Calandrta (,vritten in 
15o8, but hot presented till six vears iater) derive much from Roman 
sources, but in general these comed'ies and ther hke were original. Their 
influence upon out own plays of romantc intrigue ,viii presently appear. 
So, likewise, will that of a Spanish work, of even earlier date, the dramatic 
novel of Calisto and 3hlibwa ; fbr this tragic production of Cota and De 
Rojas is the source of out firs¢ English romantic drama. The connection 
between other forms of ltalian drama, the Commedia ded' arte, the pastoral 
drama, etc., and the later stage in western Europe has been ably discussed bv 
Klein, Moland, Symonds, and Ward ; and to them I must refer the reader 
of this more summarv account. 
The decade that saw the first of Heywood's viri!e plays was probably 
that which welcomed to England the ebullient, un-English passions of a dra- 
matic species destined to develop the native stock in a far different manner. 
"" A new commodve in englyshe, in maner of an enterlude," ordinarily called 
Calisto and Melibwa, is the earliest romantic play of intrigue in out language. 
It was "' caused to be printecl " bv that excellent promoter of the dramatic 
art, John Rasteil, about 3o, and was written- perhaps by him--hOt long 
belote. The appellation "" commodve. " had been used during the saine decade 
with reference to the English translation of the lndria (about zo-z9) ; 
it is here used for the first rime on the title-page of an English plav. And this 
interesting interlude may, indeed, well be called both English nd comedv ; 
for though it derives from romance sources (the Spanish dramatic composition 
bv Fernando de Rojas, belote ,oo), and is affected bv the halian, it does 
not foilow exactly the plot of its original ; and though it is "" reduced to the 
proportions of an interlude," it treats of an idea hot farcical, but significant, 
and it develops the motives of real characters, bv wa," of action, passion, and 
intrigue, to a happy conclusion within the realm of convention and common 
sense, h is, indeed, a comedy, perhaps out first well-rounded comedy, 



of Egh'sh Comedy lxix 

though in miniature, The Secunda Pastorum it excels in singleness of aim ; 
the Pardoner nnd Frere and the "ohan, in meaning for lire. It excels ail 
preceding interludes in the thlfilment of the purpose, now for the first rime 
announced in English drama, "" to shev and to describe as well the bewte 
and good propertes of women as theyr vyces and evyll condicions." For 
the first rime rince plays became secular, women are introduced, not as the 
objects of scurrility and ridicule, but as dramatic material of an œesthetic, 
moral, and intellectual value equal to that o men. What the author of "ohan 
did for the amusing and real action desirable in a comedy, the author of this 
play did for vital characterization and passion. Meliboea is the first heroine 
of our romantic comedy ; she is so fair that for her loyer there is "" no such 
sovereign in heaven, though she be in earth." She is, il" the play x'as written 
belote the P/av of Love, out earliest heroine "' loved, hOt loving." She is a 
woman and pitiful and tobe wooed ; frail and repentant ; but then indignant 
and hOt tobe won. Calisto is, likewise, out first loyer in despair. This 
element of woman worship-- hot worship of the Blessed Virgin or traditional 
interest in the Magdalene or any other saint--is no slight contribution to the 
material of comedy. The intrigue of the play, -- the foils of character and 
action, the go-betweens, the plot within plot introduced by Celestina, her 
realistic account of Sempronio's character, her device of the " girdle," the mys- 
terious agency of the dream, -- no better indication of romantic tendency can 
be detected until we reach Redford's play of Ifït and Science, of which lres- 
ently. But first, and that we may keep in mind the parallelism of dramatic 
tendencies in this momentous first hall of the sixteenth century, let us turn to 
another stream, that of the school interludes and the classical influence. 

xo. The Period of Transition: School Interlude and Controersial lIoral 

During the fifieenth century, and the early sixteenth, influences of impor- 
tance to Engllsh comedy proceed hot from the literature of Italy and Spain alone. 
In northern Europe additions most significant to the history of the type were 
making. To the crop of French sorties, moralités, and farces I have already 
referred. The German Reuchlin in t498 put forth a roaring Latin comedy 
called the Henno, which, in modern Terentian style, embodied the chicaneries 
of Pathelin. About the saine time the Germans began to make the ac- 
quaintance, through translations in their own tongue, of highly flavoured 
ltalian Latin plays like the Po/iscene and the Philogenia ; while those of them 
who cared not for such things were favoured with a recrudescence of the 
Christian Terence school. In 15o 7 the young humanist, Kilian Reuter, in 



lxx «4n ]]istorica! liew 

imitation of .'he nun of Gandersheim, produced in Latin his pious comedy 
depicting the passion of St. Dorothea. In Holland, meanwhile, were 
springing into existence the Latin prototypes of more than one of our own 
didactic interludes ; for in the comedia «acra the attempt was ruade to com- 
bine the intrigue of the Italian university play with the moral of the prodigal 
son and the technique of the Terentian drama. The more important of these 
plays of the prodigal son, in respect of influence upon English comedy, are 
the Isotus of Macropedius, written before t 529, and his Re3elles, 1535, the 
Icolastus of Gnapheus,  5 zg, and the 8tudentes of Stymmelius,  549- The 
most dramatic of them are the second and third as mentioned. The 4colastus, 
indeed, translated into English by Palsgrave in  54 o, exerted a Iong-enduring 
influence upon out drama. To the saine period belong also a species of bib- 
lical comedies dealing with heroes, like the .7oseph of the Dutch Jesuit, Cro- 
cus, 1535, and the 8usanna, udith, E/i, Ruth, Ïob, 8olomon, Goliath, etc., 
of Macropedius, the Swiss Sixt Birck, and others ; and another kind of play 
that occupied itself with prototypes of the Roman Antichrist,--Haman, 
Judas, and the like. The former may be called the idvllic or heroic miracle, 
the latter the polemic. And of the latter the most influential development 
was the controversial interlude, Pammachiu, written bv the German Protestant 
Naogeorgos (Kirchmayer) and dedicated to the Arcbishop of Camerbury. 
By '545 this play, in which the Pope figures as the Antichrist, had not only 
been acted at Cambridge in the original, but translated into English by our 
own John Baie ; and, as we shall presently see, it was, somewhere between 
 54 ° and 1548, imitated by him in one of the most vigorous of our contro- 
versial dramas. * 
Of the cultivation of the drama in Latin in England I have already ruade 
mention in treating of the saints' plays and the Terentian drama of the twelfih 
and thirteenth centuries. Other indications of a Latin drama occur, although 
infrequently. William Fitzstephen, who speaks of the ludus given by Geof- 
fi'ev's bovs at Dunstable, tells us, also, that it was customarv on feast davs 
for masters of schools to hold festival meetings in the churChes, when te 
pupils contested, not only in disputations, but also with Feseennine license in 
satirical verses touching " the faults of school-fellows or perhaps of greater 
people"; a practice which could only with diflïcultv escape development 
into a rude Aristophanic comedv. We bave mention also of perquisites for a 
comardia in one of the Cambride colleges as earlv as 1386, evidently of the 
Latin type, and of the presentation of a goodly comedv of Plautus at court in 
zo. Between Szz and 532 the Master of St. Paul's produced a Latin 

For the substance of this paragraph sec the histories of Klein, Herford, and Creizenach. 



of English Comedy lxxi 

school drama of Dido before Wolse¢, and according to Co|lier's supposition, * 
the saine John Ritwyse was the author of the satiric interlude, in Latin and 
French, of Luther and his wife, which was acted for the delectation of the 
hot yet reformed Henry and his fbreign guests in t 5z7. Of the nature of 
this play, unfortunately Iost, some conception mav be gathered ri'oto the still sur- 
viving list of its characters ( allegorical, religious, and contemporary ), from the 
anaiogous Ludus ludentem Luderum ludens,  53 o, and the somewhat more re- 
cent and most scurriious Monachopornoraachia, both by Germans. Before , 53 o 
and apparently with a vie,v to acting, the /lndlia had been turned into Eng- 
lish, * and by * 535 at least two Latin comedies of moral-m)'thological chracter 
had been written by/rtour of Cambridge, and one, the Piscator, bv Hoker 
ofOxford, a We have v'ord of a dramatic pageant in English and Latin to 
which Udall contributed in 53z; in 534 he issued a book of selections 
entided Flowers of Terence. In t54o Palsgrave had introduced the prodigal 
son drama from Germanv; and bv '545 Baie had fblloued suit with a 
Latin play of Antichrist. During te saine period ['dall was producing his 
plures comœediw, now Iost, and that other schooimaster-drmatist, Radcliffe 
of Hitchin, ,vas writing spectacula simul ju, unda et honesta for his bovs 
to present,- heroic miracles of the type affected by Macropedius, and a 
romantic comedy of Griselda, probab]y ail in Latin, but unfortunately ail 
vanished. 
The importance of the English school drarna has been well presented by 
Professor Herford and Dr. Ward, but there is something in the naine that 
leads the ordinary reader to underrate the genus. A word or so bv *sav 
of classification may be of assistance. These interludes rail naturallv into 
four kinds. Those that ridicule fol!y, vain pretension, and conceit, or 
Mirth plays,--plays after the modei of Plautus, mock-heroic, or purely 
diverting, like the Thersvtes. Those that are pedagogical in tendency, 
directed against idleness and ignorance, or Wit plays. They began ssith 
Rasteil's Four Elements, and reached their highest mark in the Contract 
between HStt and llïsdome. Those that portray the conflict with the ex- 
cesses and lusts of the flesh, or Youth plays. They consist of such pro- 
ductions as Mankynd, Nature, H.'ckescorner, and reach their climax, about 
t¢, in the Interlude of I-outh. The school drama includes, in the last 
place, a series corrective of parental indulgence and filial disobedience, aptly 
called Prodigal Son plays. These are patterned upon Terence, but foilow the 
manner «»f Dutch school plays iike the lcolastus or of the still earlier French 
I E. D. Po., I. ao7, from Gibson's Accounta. 
2 Warton, H. Eng. Po. (87), IV. ]2 l. 
$ Herford, Let. ReL, pp. 1o7-1o8. 



lxxii ln Historical loeiew 

moralités, Bien-lvisé et MaL lvisé, L'Homme pécheur, and Les Enfants de 
Maintenant. They make more or less use of the scriptural motif and are 
sometimes tragical. In the period under consideration their best representatives 
are the Nice lI'anton and the Disobedient Child. From the point of view of 
comedy the first of these kinds, the Mirth play, occupies a place by itseif; for, 
though it may sometimes intend to teach, it always aires at, and achieves, 
laughter. To the three remaining kinds, ,ve must tbr convenience, join, 
however, another which, though not of the schooi species, is primarily 
didactie,--I mean the controversial interlude. This includes Bale's King 
Ïohan, Wever's Lusty Ïuventus, and the Respublica. 
In the Mirth play, Thersytes, the influence of Piautus is evident,--a school 
play, to be sure, but written with a view to amusement or roilicking satire 
rather than instruction. Acted in * 537, this " enterlude" has for its hero a 
'« ruffler forth of the Greke lande " whose " crakying " stands half-wav be- 
tween the classical Pyrgopolinices and Thraso and the modern Roister Doister. 
For ail its academic flavour, the burlesque is coarse and crude, but stiii 
genuinely humorous. It deserves notice, in especiai, for the varietv of its 
contents, chivalric, romantic, popular, scriptural as well as Greek and Latin ; 
also for its artistic exhibition of the braggart,- the leisurely proceeding of 
his discomfiture, the subordination of other characters to that end ; and for 
its mastery of technical devices,--concealment, magic, the play upon the 
word, and that hunting of the word and letter which was so soon to drive 
conversation out of its wits. As an interlude of foreign origin, the Thersytes 
has a place in the development of the comlc element somewhat analogous 
to that of the Calisto in the development of the romantic. As far as the 
quality of mirth is concerned it might be classed with Roister Doister and Ïacke 
Ïugeler ; but those plays are much more highly developed in form and spirit, 
and must be reserved for consideration with the polytypic, and early regular, 
comedy. 
The remaining classes of interlude are manifestly didactic ; those of Wit 
and Youth derive, however, more directlv from native sources, while those 
of the Prodigal Son bave close affiliation with the Christian Terence of the 
continental humanists. 
Redford's If'vt and Science, composed probably between  54  and  547, 
is, in form and ]ntent, like Lustv uventus and other survivals of the moral 
[nterlude. It differs, ho,vever, in company with the Four Elements and 
other Wit plays, in substituting a sdentific for a religious purpose ; and it 
adds a feature hot to be found in earlier kinds of moral, a chivalrous ideal 
of love and adventure, academic, to be sure, but unmistakable. This ap- 
pears in the ,vooing of Lady Science by ,Vyt, and his encounter with the 



of Enzlish Comed_y lxxiii 

tyrant or fiend Tediousness "for my dere hartes sake to wynne rny spurres ; " 
in the hero's'inconstancy, defeat, and subsequent success, and in the dramatic 
empioyment of romantic instruments and tokens, such as the rnagic glass 
and the sword of comlbrt; also in the love songs. Ail of these and 
similar features of which the sources are taot etatirely continental make 
for the development of a romantic and humanistic drama, h mav be 
worth noticing, moreover, that the fiend of the play is neither Vice" nor 
Devil. He seems to be a cross between the Devil of the miracles and 
a rnonster of native as well as scriptural ancestry (an early draft of Giant 
Despair), who figures in a modernization of this play, The llarriage of 
lr'itte and Science. In chronoiogical sequence the next of the Wit plays 
is the Contract of a llarrige bctweene ll'it and llïsdorne (hOt llït and 
Science, as Professor Brandi has it). This was probably written about 
the saine time as the Lusty uç,entus. The mention of the King's most 
" royal majestie" and the appearance of the Vice Idleness as a priest would 
point to a date earlier than , ç53, while the resemblance to Redford's play, 
though by no means close, indicates posteriority to that rnuch cruder produc- 
tion. The division into acts and scenes is, on the other hand, less elaborate 
than that obtaining in the latest play of this series, The larriage of H'itte 
and Science. The Contract is altogether the most meritorious ofthose academic 
predecessors of the drama of the Prodigal Son which introduce the indul- 
gent mother as a motive f'orce. While the conception is formal and didactic, 
the action avails itself, like Redford's play, of the romantic elernent involved 
in the perilous adventure for love. The Contract, moreover, startles the 
sober atmosphere of the moral interlude by a rapidity of movement, a com- 
bination of plots major and rninor, a diversitv of subordinate characters and 
incidents altogether unprecedented. The racv and natural wit, the equi- 
roque, the actual, even if vulgar, humanity of the scenes from low lire, 
and the skill with which the Mother Bees, the Dois and Lobs, Snatches 
and Catches, the Constable, and the thoroughly rustic Vice with his actual 
resemblance to Diccon the Bedlem, are dovetailed into the action,--these 
properties make this a very commendable predecessor, not only of Gamrner 
Gurton, but of certain plays of Dekker and Jonson where similar features 
obtain. With the Contract, the interlude of this kind attains its climax. 
The llarriage of ll'itte and Science, which is a revision of Redford's play 
of" sirnilar naine, must also be mentioned here, although it is a postliminious 
specirnen of" the type. Not licensed until 569-7o, and, according to 
Fleay, acted as l3t and t'ill,  567-78,  it adds nothing vital to the plot 
or characters of" its model. Still, in literary and dramatic handling, it is 

I History of the 8tage p. 64.. 



Ixxiv In Historical 

an example of the perfection to which the moral play could corne. Collier, 
indeed, bas said that it was the first play of its kind regularly divided into 
acts and scenes with indication of the saine : but that is not true, for the 
ReJpub/ica of 153 bas rive acts and the proper arrangement in scenes ; 
and so bave other plays of 1553 or earlier, though of different kind, like the 
acob and Esau. 
If no,v ,ve pass to the Youth plays, we shall find in the lnterlude of Youth 
(about t  4 ) the culmination of dramatic efforts to portray the sosving of wild 
oats, -- efforts avovedly moral in purpose, but with a reminiscent smack of the 
lips and a fellow-feeling for the scapegrace. The lnterlud¢ of l"outh is char- 
acterized neither by the unbridled merriment of the Mile Gloriou type nor by 
the depth or pathos of dramas portraying solicitous parents and prodigal sons ; 
but it paves the vav for ' tragical ' comedies of this latter class, and is infi- 
nitelv more dramatic, because more human, thon the pedagogical onslaughts 
upon idleness, irksomeness, ignorance, and the like of which we bave just 
treated. It bas, perhaps, not been noticed that the Interlude of l"outh holds 
about the saine relation to Hvcke.,eorner in matter of motive and treatment that 
Hrckecorner holds to the Four Element and 2lankvnd, --indeed, a closer 
relation, for in many details of character, device, situation, as well as by literal 
transference of language, it borrows from Hrckescorner. This as indicating the 
descent of the species is in itself interesting. But the present play generally 
improves upon ail that it derives. In addition, the vivid conversation, shrewd 
and waggish wit, local colouring, atmosphere of taverns, dicing, cards, and 
,vorse iniquities, justify, I think, the statement that it is at once the most 
realistic, amusing, and graceful specimen of its kind. It is, at anv rate, as 
artistic as a didactic interlude could permit itself to be. 
One cannot consider the so-called Prodigal Son interludes, without observ- 
ing that the theme itself supplies an opportunity for the enlargement of dra- 
matic endeavour. For these productions are directed as much against parental 
indulgence as against filial disobedience. The "' Preatv Interlude called Nice 
ll'anton,:' printed in 156o, was written before the death of Edward VI. 
Though it mav have derived suggestions from the Rebelles t of Macropedius, 
1  35, it is of'its own originality and dramatic merit, in mv opinion, the best 
of its class in English at the time of writing. While it presents a mixture of 
scriptural, classical, and moral elements, it is essentially a modern production. 

- Brandi, .dlen, LXII. ; cf. Herford, Lit. Rei., p. 156. To trace the suggestion of the 
model of Barnabas to the Studentet of St-)mmelius, 154.9, is, I think, absurd. It is strange 
that Creizenach, Gescb. d. heu. Dr., I. 470, should assert, in face ofthe Nice l'anton and Tbe 
Glatse of Go'vernment, that no English ' moral" avails itself of tgoo representatives of the 
human race- a good and an evil. 



of Idî,/is/ Comeal.y lxxv 

The allegorical lingers only in the character of XVorldly Shame. If this be 
eliminated, there remains a play with realistic, romantic, and ideal qualities, an 
air of probability, and a plot well conceived and excellentlv, completed. 
Iniquity, or Baily errand, is a concrete Vice, working by actual and possible 
methods. The unfortunate heroine and the well-contrasted pairs of mothers 
and sons are manifest hOt only by their deeds but bv the opinions of those ** ho 
know them. The plot, in other words, grows out of the characters ; it is 
full of incident, and it falls naturally into acts, which bave been elaborated in 
various and dramatically interesting scenes. The movements, on the one hand 
toward a catastrophe, on the other toward the triumph of right living, are con- 
ducted with skilful suspense, surprise, discovery, and revolution, and are well 
interwoven. The conversations and songs are racv or sober according to the 
conditions ; the combination of oesthetic qualities, comic, tragic, and pathetic, is 
an agreeable advance upon the inartistic extremes afforded bv most ofthe contem- 
porary interludes of moral intent. The next of these plys, the " pretie and 
merv new interlude called The Disoedient Child, bv Thomas lngeland, late 
Stuent at Cambridge," ,vas acted, Mr. Fleay thinks, befbre Elizabeth in 
March, 56o-6t. Though it ,vas not published till t564, it was certainly, 
like the Nice II'anton, written before 553- The purpose is serious and the 
conclusion almost tragic, but the play contributes to the comedv of domestic 
satire. If the main characters were but indicated bv name, like those below 
stairs, Blanche and I,ong-Tongue, this picturesque and whollv dramatic inter- 
lude would have attracted more notice than has been vouchsafèd it. lts literarv 
merits, verse, poetic èeling and expression, and its natural dialogue entitle it 
to high consideration ; its decidedlv novel dramatic qualities, even though thev 
bear a general resemblance to the StudenteJ  of Stymmelius, rank it with the 
Nice II'anton as one of the most vigorous of our earlv representatives of the 
dramatic actualide.s of àmily litè. 
For reasons which I bave alreadv indicated, the controversial plays of the 
period between Szo and 553 mav be considered here. The first of these 
in chronological order is Bale's King ohan, about ,54o-47, with later 
insertions in the author's hand. Its relation to Lvndsav's satire of the Thrie 
Estatis is well known; and Professor Hedbrd  has indicated its indebtedness 
also to the Pammachius and the Protestant version of the antichrist legend. 
It is a dramatic satire on the abuses of the church, its riches, orders, brother- 
hoods, confessionals, simony, free thought, mummery (judaistic and pagan), 
Latin ritual, hagiolatry, and papal supremacy. Few more excellent embodi- 
ments of the Vice have been preserved than the Sedycyon of this play, who 
in everv estate of the clergy plays a part, sometimes monk, sometimes nun, or 
1 Brandi s .eilen, LXXlII. i and Herford, Lit. ReL 2 Lit. Rel., p. 135. 



lxxvi [n Historical l'ïe, 

canon, or chapter-house monk, or Sir John, or the parson, or the bishop, or 
the ffiar, or the purgatory priest and every man's wife's desire :-- 

Tea, to go farder, sumtvme I ara a cardynall ; 
Yea, suret)me a pope and than am I lord over ail, 
Both in hev.n and erthe and also in purgatory, 
And do weare iii crownes whan I ara in my glorye." 

In spite of Professor Schelling's I recent rejection of King Ïohan from the 
list of chronicle plays, I cannot but agree with Dr. Ward that this moral is 
of considerable importance in the history of that species. That it uses history 
merelv as the cloak for a religio-political allegory, and that it does not quite 
succeed in drawing together the points of fact and fiction in the development 
of action and character, -- these defects do not alter its significance as the first 
English play to incarnate the political spirit of its age in a form imaginatively 
attributed to an earlier period of native history. Although it is not a comedy, 
it concerns us here as a drama of critical and satirical intent. It is succeeded 
by plays like LuJt u,entuJ and ReJpublica, which deal more or less with 
political affairs, and interest us because they enliven the controversial by the 
introduction of the realistic and comic, and, accordingly, in an age when po- 
lemics xvas politics, contribute to the improvement of comedy by shaping it 
more or less to a medium for the dissemination of practical ideas. More- 
over, though Baie had no disciples in the attempt to construct an historical 
protestant drama, he mav be said to have prepared the way for a protestant 
series ofanother kind. This is what Professor Herford bas well called the 
biblical genre drama ; it is pedagogical and controversial, and, like the King 
.[ohan, its representatives, also, such as the Dariu and Queen Hester, had 
their precursors, and probably their models, more or less di»tant, in the idyllic 
or heroic miracle of the Dutch and German humanists. 
R. Wever's Lust.v 'uventu«, written about 55o,  is of the drarnatic 
kindred of Mankvnd and Nature. Its characters are allegorical in name but 
concrete in person ; and one of them, Abhominable Living, passes, also, 
under the appellation of" litle Besse." The conversations are sprightly, and 
the songs show considerable lvric power. But the play is a protestant 
polemic, and its success must have depended to a large extent upon the bitter- 
ness of the satire against 

 Tbe Englisb Cbronicle Plav. 
 Hawkins, EnKL Drarna, . 45, quotes a passage from one of Latimer's serinons in the 
presence of Edward VI., whkh uses the storv of " drave me aboute the tourie with a puddynge," 
referred to in Lustr ".]tuentus. 



of Eng]isA Comedy lxxvii 

" Holy cardinalsi holy popes 
Holy vestments» holy copes,'" 

and various alleged hypocrisies and excesses of the Church of Rome. That 
this play had a long life is shown by its insertion, though under the designa- 
tion of an interlude with which it had nothing in common,  as a play within a 
play in the tragedy of 8# Thomas More (about 159o). The "mer'e En- 
terlude" RespuMica, t 553, a children's Christmas pla.v, sustains somewhat the 
saine relation to political Catholicism as King 'ohat to Protestantism -- with- 
out the polemics of dogma. Here, as in the preceding political moral of Kiag 
'ohan, the Vice is used for a satirical purpose, and is hot only the chier 
mischief-maker, but, also, the principal representative of the comic r61e. In 
this play, the Vice is so highly considered that the author, probably a priest, 
multiplies him by four, and, bv wav of foil, offsets the group with that of the 
four Virtues, daughters of God', whose presence in the eleventh Coventry play 
and in Matlkynd has already been noticed. I don't see how Collier can call 
the construction of Respub/ica ingenious ; it is childish, clumsy, and trite. 
The humour consists in old-fashioned disguises and aliases, equivoque, misun- 
derstanding, and abuse. But the character of Avarice, who, with his money 
bags, anticipates the Suckdrys and Lucres of later comedv, is well conceived, 
the conduct natural, the ]anguage simple and colloquial. Of historical interest 
is the introduction of .Queen Mary as Nemesis ; of linguistic, the attempt to 
reproduce the dialect of the common people ; of dramatic, the division into 
acts and scençs, which is to be found in but few other plays of the mid- 
century, such as Roister Doister, King ohan, acob and Esau, and the Mar- 
riage of lI'itte and Science. 

vv. Polytypic, or Fusion, Plays 

With the plays just mentioned each of the dramatic kinds so far considered 
reaches its artistic limit. These kinds, however, during the decades roughly 
coincident with the years between * 565 and , 66, enter into combinations, 
bv virtue of which English comedv is assisted to a still further advance. 
The plays that represent this stage of literarv history mav. be called polytypic. 
Roister Doistcr and 'acke 'uge/er subordinate the materials of academic inter- 
lude and classical farce to classical regulations, lnto the Historie OE 'aco$ 
and Esau enter characteristics of miracle play, moral, realistic interlude, and 
tlassical comedy. Gammer Gurton and Tom Tyler (of about the saine date) 

I Tbe 'larrige of IJtt and I¢%dome. 



lxxviii 4 Historical Iïew 

subsume, under tbe domestic play of low lire, native elemen,s of botb farce and 
moral. ,lltogonu combines elements of moral interlude and farce with 
qualities native and foreign, classical and romantic. Tbese are followed bv 
the biblical genre drama of Godl Queen Hester, partl.v political and partly 
pedagogical in intent. In the fçrst rive of these plays the tendencv to teach 
is reduced almost to a minimum. In the Misogonu and Heter it is present, 
but is counterbalanced bv romantic or satirical considerations. When, how- 
ever, we reach the Darnon and P'tbias and Tbe 8uppows, the didactic bas 
disappeared altogether in favour of the trulv artistic motive. These plays t 
last combine the comic and serious, the -eal, the romantic, and the idem,. 
Thev are constructive, not primarily critical; in face, thev muse be regarded 
as out first real comedies. 
No play of this division better illustrates the impress of the classical model 
upon native material than Roiter Doister. This "" comedie '" or "'inter- 
lude" was certainlv in existence bv  z ; indeed, it bas not ver been con- 
dusively shown that it was not acted as earlv as  34 to ! 4- In the last 
contingency it mav. bave anticipated the Tbervte ; but, according to Pro- 
fessor Fligel's argument, I it was probably hOt composed till atier 45" 
With the Tbersvtes it bas in common several points of detail, but the essen- 
tial resemblance-is, of course, in the Plautine personage of the braggart. Like 
Heywood belote him, Udall aims to produce that hich "is comendable 
for a man's recreation," but tbe masterpiece of Udall bas the advantage of 
Hevwood's "'merv plays," in that its mirth "" refuses scurilitie." In 
Roiter Doister, also, more decidedlv than in previous pla.vs, the amusement 
proceeds not from the situation alone, but from the organism,--a plot essen- 
tiallv and substantiallv dramatic, because its cbaracters are concrete, pur- 
posi've, and interacting. But decided as was Udall's contribution to the art 
of comic drama, we muse not credit him with producing comedv proper. 
The merit of Roiter Dister is in its comic intent, its skilful characterization 
and contrivance. It is a presentation of humours, -- corrective indeed, but 
farcical. It is hOt significant, constructive, poetic, grounded in the heart as 
well as in the head. A contribution to the classical type contemporary with 
the peceding, but of a much mre farcical and ]uvenile appearance, is the 
" new interlued " named arke )ugeler, writen hOt later than I 6z and 
perhaps as earlv as  5  3-4 ( after the reêstablishment of the ,Mass and before 
the terrifying revival of the sanguinary laws against heretics). It announces 
tself as a school drama, and in the prologue purports to bave been derived 
from the Ampbitrt of Plautus. I ara inclined to think that the professed 
modestv of the author bas led critics to undervalue the skill and fidelitv of that 

 Sec below F- 9 6. 



of Enlis,4 Comedy lxxix 

which was not only the best "droll," but also the best dramatic satire pro- 
duced in England up to date. Within a narrow compass he has developed a 
humorous action quite novel in English comedy, and bas introduced us, not 
only to the first English double and one of the first English practical jokers, 
but, I believe, to our first victim of confused identity. The author is, of 
course, following his Plautus, but what could be more ludicrous than the 
scene in which Jenkin, uncertain and undesirous of his own acquaintance, 
covers himself with ignominy in the effort to discard it. We are led from 
interest to interest by means of anticipation, surprise, and the clever repetition 
of comic crises. Characters well drawn like Dame Coy and Alison, distinct 
like Jacke and Jenkin, suggestive of complexity like Bongrace, were not of 
everyday occurrence in the drama of * 553- The language, too, is idiomatic, 
and the wit, though vulgar, unforced. But perhaps more significant for our 
purpose than any other feature of the play is this, that in spire ofits avowed 
œesthetic intent (even more outspoken than that of Roister Doister), it is a 
subtle attack upon the Roman Catholic Church. This interlude, savs the 
maker, citing the authoritv of the classics, is written for the express purpose 
of provoking mirth, and for no other purpose : it is " not worth an ovster 
shell Except percase it shall fortune to make men laugh well"; but under the 
artifice we find a parable of the doctrinal Jacke Jugeler of the day, whose mis- 
sion it ,vas to prove that " One man mav have two bodies and two faces, 
And that one man at one time mav be in two places." I do not think that 
the satirical character of the play has heretofore been remarked, though the 
controversial allusions of the epilogue are, of course, well known. The 
innocence of the prologue and the profession of trifles fit for " little bovs" 
are as shrewd an irony as the dramatic attack upon transubstantiation is a 
huge burlesque. 
The third of these fusion dramas is Tbe Historie of acob and Esau. 
Although its title may suggest the dignity of a miracle or the didacticism of 
a moral play, it is the reduction of the miracle to modern conditions and of 
the moral to concrete and actual characters. This " newe, mery, and wittie 
comedie, or enterlude" was licensed in *557, but its decidedly protestant 
character mav indicate composition before Mary's accession to the throne. 
Collier is quite right in caIIing it one of the freshest and most effective pro- 
ductions of the kind to which it belongs. But in classi'ing it with early 
religious plays, because the subject happens to be scriptural, he is as far astrav 
as Profèssor Brandl who classes it with plays of the Prodigal Son, because 
the nature of the subject suggests a faint resemblance to that species. It is an 
attempt at comedy by way of fusion. 'Fhe plot is in general scriptural, but 
it introduces some half-dozen invented characters. The production aims, 



lxxx n istorica! l'ew 

like a moral interlude, at inculcating the doctrine of predestination ; but, 
like a classical comedy, it is regularly divided, dramatically constructed, and 
equipped with tried and telling comic devices. Proceeding with extreme 
care for probability, with elaboration of motive, with due preparation of 
interest, enhancement, and suspense, it attains a climax of unusual excel- 
lence, considering the date of its composition. The discovery and denoue- 
ment are naturally contrived ; and where the author avails himself of the 
staples of his trade, the asides, disguises, intrigues, eavesdropping, and the 
test, he does so with the ease of the accustomed dramatist. The play, in 
fact, deserves as high esteem as Roister Doistcr and Garamer Gurtou; in 
originality and regularity it is their equal, in development of a vital conception 
their superior. The language is idiomatic-- ofthe age and soil ; or dignified, 
when the mood demands. It is also ffee from obscenity ; but it lacks noth- 
ing in wit on that account, nor the situations in humour. Viewed as a whole, 
it is a simple and unaffected picture of English rural lire -- the scene with its set- 
ting as well as its figures. And these are coloured from experience, forerun- 
ners, indeed, of manv in our better-known comedy : the young squire given 
over to the chase, horses and dogs and the horn at break of dav ('much to the 
discomfort of the slumbering environment),--the careless elder born,- 
victim and butt of his unnatural mother and her ,vily younger son; the 
doting father, duped ; the clown ; the pert and pretty maid ; the aged nurse. 
Consider, in addition, the more subtle characteristics of the acob and Esau, 
-- the family resemblances, the facial policy with its ripe and ruddy upper layer 
of morals, the romantic touch, the sometimes genuine pathos, the naïve domes- 
tic revelations, the loves in low life, the unaffected charms of dialogue and 
verse,- and one must acknowledge that this play, no matter what its origin 
and naine, is at least as indicative of the maturing of English drama as either 
of the plays with which I bave placed it in comparison. 
Of these Garamer Gurtons Nedle was the first to gather the threads of 
farce, moral interlude, and classical school play into a well-sustained comedy 
of rustic lifC Mr. Henry Bradley has ingeniously shown that in all proba- 
bility it was a Christ's Cllege play, written by William Stevenson during his 
fellowship of 1599 to g6o. There ma)', indeed, be reason for believing 
that it was composed as earlv as the author's first fellowship, ,g 5'-54 -1 In 
this play the unregulated seductions of earlier days are brought under the 
curb of the classical manner and form : the native element already evident in 
Noah's Flood and the 8hepherds' Plays, the yudi,ium, the Cont,ersion of St. 
Paul, the ohan, and the Pardoner, and about this same time in the Contract 
! Sec below, p. 198. 'Trueman" in the Historia Histrionica (pr. 699 ) thinks it was 
« writ in the reign of K. Edw. VI." 



of Eng/is Comed.y lxxxi 

betweene tft and lf%dome ('parts of which suggest forciblv the manner of 
this saine Stevenson ) ; the rollicking humour of the Vice turned Bedlem, the 
pithy and saline interchange of feminine amenities ; the Atellan, sometimes 
even Chaucerian, laughter, -- not sensual but animal ; the delight in physical 
incongruity; the mediœeval fondness for the grotesque. If the -ituations 
are farcical, they at any rate hold together ; each scene tends towards the 
climax of the act, and each act towards the denouement. The characters 
are both typical and individual ; and though the conception is of less signifi- 
cance than that of Router Dohter, the execution is an advance because it 
smacks less of the academic. Gammer Gurton carries forward the comedy 
of mirth, bat hard]y yet into the rounded comedv of ]ife. 
Another " excellent old p]ay," called Tora T_rler and His Hïfe  deserves 
to be mentioned in this sequence because it combines characteristics of the farce 
in a peculiar fashion with reminiscences of the moral interlude. Tom Tyler 
was written probably between x q qo and n 6o, and is an admirable portrayal 
of matrimonial infelicities in low lire, the fbrerunner of a series of "" shrew " 
plays, not of'the nature of the T«ming, but of the 7'amer Tamed. The 
temporary revoit of the htsband, " whose cake was dough," his fleeting 
triumph by tlae ruse ofthe douhty Tom Tay]or, and his lapse into irremediable 
servitude, ", for wedding and hanging is destinie," these alone would make the 
farce worthy of honourable mention. But the dialogue and songs are them- 
selves of snap, verve, and wit not inferior to the best of that dav ; and the 
co6peration ofsolemn allegoricai figures, such as Destinie and Patience, in the 
humorous programme of De,ire tlae Vice, side by side with the three lusty 
"shrowes," Typple, Sturdy, and Strife, lends to the farce a mock-moral 
appearance which entitles it to a place among these polytypic dramas historically 
umque. For it should not be regarded as an example of the moral if transition 
from abstract to concrete, but as a conscious and cleverly ironical presentation 
of a comic episode from utterly unidea] lire, under the form, and by the 
modes and machinery, of the pious allegorical drama. 
For the printing of the next play in this series, the Misogonus, heretofore 
accessible only in manuscript at Chatsworth, we are indebted to Professor 
Brandi.  This interesting moral comedy was written in z 560, probably by 
Thomas Richardes,  whose name followes the prologue. Brandi points out 
certain resemb]ances to the 4colatus of Gnapheus, printed z 34- The con- 
trast of the good and wayward sons might likewise be traced to tlae StudenteJ 

1 Bodl. Libr., lIalone 7, 'second impression," London, 1661 ; reprinted by F. E. 
Schdling, Publ. Mod. Lang. Assn., 9oo. 
 êuellen u. Forscbungen. 
a Not j. Rychardes as Mr. Flea' ha* it Hist. Stage, p. 



lxxxii In Historica! liew 

of Stymmelius i (1ç49)" but the more evident sources are Terence, the bibli- 
cal parable, common experience, and dramatic imagination, Professor Brandi 
thinks that the play is connected with The 8upposes or its source, but I 
must confess that I cannot see the remotest relation. In Mr. Fieav's opinion 
this is the earliest English comedy. I suppose because it not only applies a 
classical treatment to certain elements of romantic form,--the halian scene and 
baronial life, --and of romantic content and method such as the ideai friend- 
ship, the discovery and recognition, but combines thetewith a realistic portrayal 
of native character, and various technical qualities vital to both the serious 
and comic kinds of composition. If, however, the names of the principal 
characters had been English, the relation to the moral interlude would at once 
be evident. This is a Prodigal Son play of the humanist school, save that it 
has supplemented the general characteristics of the Christian Terence and of 
Plautus bv episodes and minor characters from the native farce. Although it 
is not superior in technique to Roister or Gammer Gurton, it is more distinc- 
tively polytypic than either, h is, also, ofbroader ethical significance. But 
this dominant didactic intent renders it less of a comedy than they, and much 
less than the 'acoi and Esau  which is as good a representative of the fusion 
of dramatic kinds and qualities as the Misogonus, and a better specimen of 
workmanship. The simpler characters of the Misogonus, Codrus, poore, but 
" trwe and trustv "; the stammering Madge Mumbelcrust, who "coude once 
a said our lordye saw -- saw-- sawter by rote" ; and ber gossip " Tib, who 
bas tongue inough for both "; Alison, who knows " what a great thinge an oth 
is "; and Sir John, the priest, who knows how to use one, -- these, their ways 
and colloquies, are of a piece with Stevenson's work and Hevwood's and the 
world that their work represents. The conditions and conduct of the leading 
dramatis personee are, on the other hand, more closelv akin to the Plautine 
and Terentian, to the school of Udall and the humanists. Cacurgus, the 
domestic parasite and fool, remotely connected with the Vice, but actually a 
counterfeit-simple and wag, is as good a Will Summer as the early comedy 
can boast. When Greene ruade his Nano, Adam, and Slipper, he had in mind 
a generation of such creatures. If one could eliminate the sermonizing, there 
would remain a plot as satisfactory in unity, in situations, recognitions, crises, 
and denouement as any produced during the next tventy years. But, as I 
have said above, the moral urgency of the play injures the art. Since the 
Prodigai Son is reclaimed, we are, however, justified in ranking the produc- 
tion among early attempts at English comedv. 
Godly Queen Hester, published 1561, is exactlv described as a "" newe 
I l-lerford, Lit. Rel., p.  6. 
 Unique original, pub. by Picker). nge and Hacket 1561, in Duke of Devonshire's Libr. 
Chatworth i repr. by Grosart, Fullcr l/k'orbi¢s Libr., vol. IV., 21iscellani¢, 1873 . 



of English Comedy lxxxiii 

enterlude drasven out of the Holy Scripture.". According to Fleay, it is the 
latest " scriptural morality " extant to be acted on the English stage.  But it 
is much more than a scriptural moralitv. Not only by its fusion of biblical 
characters, like Assuerus and Hester, with allegorical types, like Pride and the 
half-moral, hall-native Vice, does the play give evidence of its pol)'typic 
nature, but by its atmosphere, which is charged with local and personal allu- 
sions and ironical references to the economic abuses of the day. In nervous 
energy of style and in forthright dramatic movement, the play is an improve- 
ment upon its predecessors ; and as a satirical drama of political purpose, 
it should have had a numerous progeny. Strange to sa)', however, this kind 
of scriptural satire has had no great success in the field of English drama. Its 
bloom, as in Dryden's lsalom and lchitophel, bas been in the by-paths of 
poetry. Of a peculiar historical importance is the character of Hardy-dardy. 
Mr. Fleay regards him as a domestic fool, and remarks that this interlude 
and the bIisogonus are the only two early plays in which the Vice is replaced 
by such a personage. But neither of these statements is correct, for Hardy- 
dardy and Cacurgus do hot totally abandon the quality of Vice, and various 
other plays yet to be mentioned have characters closely resembling them. 
Hardy-dardy is, indeed, a professed jester dressed in a fbol's coat ; in his 
assumption of stupidity and his proffer of service to Aman, he resembles 
Slipper in Greene's ames the Fourth ; and in his shrewd simplicity, repartee, 
and indirection he anticipates some of Shakespeare's fools. But he still retains 
characteristics of his ancestrv. He stands, in conception, half-way between 
the minor Vices of the play, Ambition, Adulation, and Pride, to whose 
jocosities and deviltries he succeeds,- for he appears only when they bave 
departed, -- and the waggish weathercocks of later interludes, Haphazard and 
Conditions. 
I wish I could have included among the repfints of the present volume 
both of the plays next to be mentioned, but limitations of space and other 
reasons bave forbidden. When Puttenham said that for comedy and interlude 
such doings as he had "sene of Maister Edwardes deserved the hyest price," 
and Turberville, that "for poet's pen and passing witte," that poet '" could 
have no English Peere," I think that thev were hot greatly exaggerating. 
Richard Edwardes' Damon and Pithias, written before I 66, maybe as early 
as 1563-6, takes steps significant in literarv historv. It is hot only enfirelv 
free from allegorical elements, and almost ti'o'm didactic, but it is rich in qual- 
ries of the fusion drama. The subject of a classical story is handled in a 
genuinely romantic fashion, although no previous drama of romantic friend- 
I As Heter ad z'tbaueru ] 594-- 1 see no reason for attributing the authorship, with 
Mr. Fleay, to R. Ewardes. 



lxxxiv .,4 Historical 15"e,w 

ship had existed in England.. Comic and serious strains flo,v side by side, 
occasionally mingling. A quick satire, dramatic and personal, pervades the 
play. The names and scenes may be S.vracusan, and types from Latin comedv 
may walk the streets, but the life is of the higher and lower classes of 
England ; and the creatures of literary tradition are elbowed and jostled by 
children of the soli. The farcical episodes may be indelicate, but they bave 
the virility of fact. The plot as a whole is skilfully conducted ; while it 
proceeds directly to the goal, it encompasses a wider variety of ethical inter- 
ests, dramatic motives, and attractions, than that ofany previous play. The 
relation to an interlude of which we shall presently speak, Like wil to Like, 
is beyond doubt. In both a crude psychological pairing and contrasting of 
characters mav be observed; but in the development of the characters, 
Damon and Pithias is decidedly superior. The author calls this "'a matter 
mixt vith mvrth and care . . . a tragical comedie"; but while he thus 
aires at a fusion of the ideal with the commonplace, he makes a close approxi- 
mation, akvays, to probability of incident and character, and so observes the 
criterion which he himself enunciates :-- 

In commedies the greatest skyll is this, lightly to touch 
Ail th.nges to the quicke ; and eke to frame each person so 
That by his common talke, you ma t his nature rightly know.'" 

In its defects, such as the disregard of time and place, as in its merits, the 
Damo» and Pithias is a commendable experiment in romantic comedy-- 
a contribution svorthy of more attention than historians have ordinarily ac- 
corded it. Undoubtedly Edwardes' " mucl, admired play " of Pa/aman 
attcl Ircite, which the queen wimessed in hall at Christ Church, Oxford, 
566 (and laughed heartily thereat, and thanked "the author for his 
pains"), was of the fashion and vogue of the drama which we have dis- 
cussed, though it had hOt the abiding influence. 
If it were hOt for the fact that The 8tppvses (acted ! 566) is a translation 
of Ariosto's play of the saine title, I should be inclined to say that it was the 
first English comedv in every wav worthv of the naine. It certainlv is, for 
manv reasons, entitfed to be called the first comedv in the English tongue. It 
is written, hot for children, nor to educate, but for grown-ups and solelv to de- 
light. It is done into English, hot for the vulgar, but for the more alvanced 
taste of the translator's own Inn of Court ; it has, therebre, qualities to capti- 
rate those who are capable of appreciating high comedy. It is composed, like 
its original, in straightforward, sparkling prose. It has, also, the rarest features 
of the fusion drama : it combines character and situation, each depending upon 
the other ; it combines wit of intellect with humour of heart and fact, intri- 



of Elglish Comedy lx××v 

cate and varied plot with motive and steady movement, comic but not 
farcical incident and language with complications surprising, serious, and 
only hot hopelessly embarrassing. It conducts a romantic intrigue in a real- 
istic fashion through a world of actualities. With the blood of the New 
Comedy, the Latin Comedy, the Renaissance in its veins, it is far ahead of 
its English contemporaries, if hot of its time. Without historical apology or 
artistic concessions it would act 'ell to-day. Both whimsical and grave, its 
ironies are pro kono puMico ; it is constructive as well as critical, imaginative 
as well as actual. Indeed, when one compares Gascoigne's work with the 
original and observes the iust liberties that he bas taken, the Englishing of 
sentiment as well as of phrase, one is tempted to say, with Tom Nashe, that 
in comedy, as in other fields, this writer first " beat a path to that perfection 
which our best poets bave aspired to rince his departure." He did not con- 
trive the plot; but no dramatist belote him had selected for his audience, 
translated, and adapted a play so amusing and varied in interest, so graceful, 
simple, and idiomatic in its stvle, h was said by R. T., in 6 5, that Gas- 
coigne was one of those who first "" brake the ice for our quainter poets who 
now write, that they mav more safely swim through the main ocean ofsweet 
poesy "--a remark which would lose much of its force if restricted to the 
poet's achievements in satire alone ; in the drama ofthe humanists he excelled his 
contemporaries, and in the romantic comedy of intrigue he anticipated those 
who, like Greene and Shakespeare, 1 adapted the Italian plot to English man- 
ners and the English taste. Nor are these the only claires of Gascoigne to 
consideration : The 8upposes, as Professor Herford bas justly remarked, is the 
most Jonsonian of English comedies before Jonson. 

I2. Survival8 Of the Moral Interlude 

Though we must refrain from description, we cannot forbear mention of 
a few survivals of the moral interlude, which, though themselves rudimentary, 
were not without esteem even in an age when the drama, by combination and 
adaptation of its possibilities, was producing other results infinitely superior to 
the older strain. These functionless survivals of the moral were the following, 
ail controversial : Nerve Custome, an anti-papist play, perhaps written as early 
as  550-53; tl/byon Knight, a political fragment acted between 56o and 
1565; K).ng Daryus, a peculiarly insipid disputation, evidently anti-papist, 
printed in 1565 ; and The Conflict of Conscience, a doctrinal drama by Na- 
thaniel Woodes, Minister in Norwich, which presents a mixture of individual 
I The relation of Tbe Taming of tbe Sbre¢o to this play is well known. 



lxxxvi .,//n H/storica[ lZiew 

and even historical characters with abstractions, stands midway between the 
allegorical interlude and the drama of concrete experience, displays a com- 
mendable realism in spots, and is a more virile production than the others of 
this group. It was hOt published till 58, but was probably written soon 
after  563. 
Of the decadent stock of morals and interludes, there were, however, 
some specimens between the years gg3 and g78 that exhibited an advance 
in quality, if hOt in kind. Three of these, The Longer thou Livest, Al/far 
Money, and Tide Taryeth no Man, Mr. Fleay I lumps together as simple in- 
stances of the survival of the older ' morality' after the introduction of tragedy 
and comedy on the models of Seneca and Plautus, and makes the further 
statement that none of them teaches us anything as to the histofical develop- 
ment of the drama in England. With the utmost respect for the knowledge 
of this most helpful historian, I must sav that, as a matter of judgment, none 
of these dramas, least of ail, Longer thou Livest, should be classed with the 
moral plays of mere survival. While the authors of these and similar speci- 
mens did hot produce a new kind, thev did more than repeat the old. They 
revived and enriched the moral interlude by infusion of new strains, and so 
produced, bv culture, a most interesting group of what mav be called varia- 
tions of the moral. "Fo this class of morals belong also the Triall of Treasure, 
Like wil to Like, and the Life and R«p«ntaunce of Marie Magdalene. It must 
be said also that a few moral tragedies of the period, like R. B.'s Apius and 
Firginia (about 163, pr. 7 ), and Preston's King Cambises (S. R. 
*69-7o), have some claire to belong to this group, and that if there were 
space they should receive attention for their vital dramatic qualitv and their 
development of the character of the Vice. The Hap-hazard of the former, 
far from being, as Dr. Ward has said, " redundant to the action," suggests 
the " conspiracies" which Apius adopts, and is the heart of rascality and fun ; 
he is consequently a Vice of the old type ; but he is also the representative 
(in accordance with his naine and express profession) of the caprice of the 
individual and the irony of fortune. He is the Vice, ecient for evil, but in 
process of evolution into the inclination or humour of a somewhat later 
period of dramatic historv : the inclination not immoral but unmoral, the 
artistic impersonation of comic extravagance, in accordance with which Every 
Man is in his Vice, and everv Vice is but a Humour. The Ambidexter 
of the latter tragedy plays " with both hands finely" in the main action, 
and at the same time serves to provoke the jocosity of those admirably con- 
crete rufl:ians, Huf, Ruf, and Snuf, and of the clown of the play. The 
Horestes, written by John Pikerynge in , 567, must, although a tragedy, also 
1 Hier. St., p. 66. 



of English Comedy lxxxvii 

be mentioned here.  The Vice under his dual designation of Corage and 
Revenge is of the weathervane variety ; and in realistic and humorous quali- 
ries the play closely resembles the preceding two. Thev were a noble but 
/'utile ebrt to bottle the juices of tragedy, classical-historical at that, in the 
leathers of moral interlude. 

3- Tiae lIovement towards Romantic Comedy 

We mav now proceed with the main current of comedv. Between  ç7 ° 
and  59 ° the best plays are coloured by a distinctively romantic element ; and 
this is noticeable, not onlv in the productions of the greater authors, Lyly, 
Peele, Greene, and the like, elsevhere discussed in this volume, but in 
those of minor writers too frequently ignored. As I bave alreadv said, 
the romantic in lire appears to spring fi'om a desire to assert one's inde- 
pendence and realize the possibilities of the resuhing freedom. '" Our pent 
vills ri'et And would the world subdue." But since the conditions of lire 
are largely opposed to the complete fulfilment of out desires, it is the privilege 
and function of romance, and of romantic comedv according to its kind, to 
idealize the stubborn facts--the "' limits we did not set" in favour of out 
ecstatic but still human urgency. This privilege the comedy of romance 
exercises sometimes with an eye to nature and probability, and sometimes 
vith some respect for imaginative possibility, but quite frequently with no 
other guide than mere caprice. The subjects of such comedv mav be brieflv 
summarized as passion, heroism, and wonder. Of these the first is manifest 
in examples of ideal fi'iendship, its devotion and self-sacrifice ; and a play of 
such nature we bave already considered in the Damon and Pithias. It also 
yields the furnishings of love, the resulting obstacles, and the issue ; and a 
play of this kind we bave considered in The Supposes, which is a domestic 
comedy of intrigue. Of heroism the possibilities are suggested by the words 
travel, adventure, chivalry, war, conquest ; those of wonder are as various 
as the chances of birth, weahh and fortune, pomp and power, myth and 
fable : they are fostered bv that which is remote, preternatural, supernatural. 
To the romance of vonder, saints' plays, legends, and biblical stories had 
purveyed from early times. From J57o on the narrative of chivalr)" and ad- 
venture, of vhich shadowy lineaments had alreadv appeared in one or two 
miracle plays and in the interludes of Wit and Science, began to gather to 
itself kindred elements of romantic interest, and to occupy the stage with 
such plays as Common Conditions, written perhaps between t57z and t576, 
 Brit. Mus. c. 34, g; Collier's lllustr. O. Engl. Lit., II. 2 ; Brandl's ,ellen. 



:xxxviii zltt Historical liew 

and Sir Clvornon and Sir Clamydes, written perhaps as early, -- dramas of love, 
fable, and adventure, absolutely free from didactic purpose. At the saine 
rime still another variety of romantic comedy, unhampered by the trammels 
of instructive intent, but dealing essentially in domestic intrigue, kept alive the 
methol of The Supposes. This variety ,s as represented by The Bugbears, 
between 156 and 8,1., and "l'he Two Italian Gentlernen (S. R. 
which, based upon halian models, availed themselves on the one hand of a 
burlesque parody of the magical, and on the other of genuine English mirth. 
The latter indeed added something of the ' humours' element soon to be 
exploited by Porter, Chapman, and Jonson. Beside these dramas, there 
sprang into notice a certain hall-moral, half-romantic kind of play which, 
availing itself of the mould of the interlude, fused therein the materials of the 
chivalrous, the magical, and the passionate, and produced certain anomalous 
comedies of great popularity between the year 58o and the end of the 
century. The best of these " pleasant and stately morals" are : The Rare 
"l"riumphs of Love and Fortune, The Three Ladies of London, "l'he Three 
Lordes and Three Ladies of London. 
While Collier thinks that, in point of positive dramatic interest, the Rare 
Triumphs of Love and Fortune requires but brief notice, Dr. Ward holds that 
the beginnings ofromantic comedy were foreshadowed by the play.  h is, 
in fact, both dramatically and historically, one of the most important produc- 
tions of its date. h ,vas printed in  589, but played, perhaps, as early as 
,i8z. Mr. Fleay has assigned it to Kyd, but I do not see sufficient reason 
for the attribution ; if,ve must find an author for it, Robert Wilson's claires 
might be urged. The Rare Triumphs affords an excellent instance of the 
fusion of moral and romance. In the Induction, Love and Fortune dispute 
concerning their respective influence in the affairs of mankind. By mutual 
agreement the debat seeks its solution in a practical demonstration of the 
issues involved. And so we find out intellectual as vell as emotional inter- 
est enlisted in the chances of an Italian story of love, adventure, and magic. 
Within a moral interlude of classical and mythological origin we discover a 
romantic comedy. The influence o! the supernatural not merely envelops, 
but permeates the whole ; the Acts present the destinies of the mortals of the 
inner play, the inter-acts the continued intervention of the immortals of the 
outer. The spectacular effect is, moreove-, heightened bv the introduction of 
dumb shows, after the fashion of the masque. In dramatic interest proper 
few romantic fables of  5 8 z can compare with the inner storv : the love of 
Hermione for Fidelia, the duel between Hermione and Fiddia's brother, the 
exile of the loyer and his retirement to the cave of his unknown thther, the 
1 Colfier E. Drain. Po. II. 



af En, ç]i«,4 Camecl.y lxxxlx 

hermit Bomelio ; Bomelio's attempt to right matters by magic, the destruction 
of his necromantic books, his madness, his recovery, and the resolution of 
diflîculties through the instrumentality of the heroine. Such a fable is anv- 
thing but silly and meagre, as Collier would bave it, especially when we 
consider its conjunction with the humorous and vivid. In the outer play the 
clown is Vulcan, at whose call Jupiter mediates, "like an honest man in 
the parish," between the disputatious goddesses. In the inner play Penulo 
the parasite and Lentulo the clown, though neither of them a Vice, supply the 
comic delectations of the r61e. The disguise of Bomelio as physician, his 
dialect, his misfortune and raving, are excellently contrived and conducted. 
In at least half a dozen particulars one may detect oesthetic possibilities later to 
be matured in more than one Shakespearian play : foreshadowings of plot and 
principal actors, as in The Ternpest ; foreshadowings of minor characters like 
Dr. Caius, or like the Francis of " Henr I!: The play is, in brief, refresh- 
ing ; the humour, substantial and English ; the language, conversational, dra- 
matic, sometimes in prose and then excellent. The versification, however, 
is of that stiffer quality which warrants Mr. Fleay's conjecture of 582, or 
thereabout, as the date of composition. 
The attempt to enliven the " old moral" by an infusion of passion and 
intrigue, and to parade it in the trappings of romance, across the background of 
contemporary English lire and manners, is what distinguishes Robert Wilson's 
• 'right excellent and famous Comoedy called the Three Ladies of London," 
printed ! 584, and its sequel, 7"he Plrasant and Stately Iorall of the Thrre 
Lordes and Three Ladiee ofLondon, registered in 1588. Of these Flays, 
the latter trades in pomp and chivalry ; tbe earlier in something like the 
motives of romantic interest. '" The acuteness and politicai subtlety evinced 
in several of the scenes of the Three Ladies" bave been justly commended by 
Collier, who points with careful attention also to " the severitv of the author's 
satirical touch, his amusing illustrations of manners, his exposure of the tricks 
of foreign merchants, and the humour and drollery which he bas thrown 
into his principal comic personage." This is Simplicity, the fool or clown, 
droll, indifferent, honest, and by no means so simple as he appears: a 
descendant of the historical Will Summer, a forerunner of the Dogberrys and 
Malaprops, and the elder brother of an Honesty of another play, Ai Knack t 
Knozv a Knave, in which the same author probably had a hand. Standing 
over against three belated specimens of the Vice, Simplicity unites the shrewd- 
ness, manners, and humour of that personage -- but in superior quality -- with 
the prudence, the penetration, and the conception of honour peculiar to the 
professional jester. He also plays a vital part in the main action, and is worthv 
to be regarded as one ofthe best clowns» if hOt the best, in the history of the 



xc n istorical l'ew 

moral interlude. His forthright utterances in the Tbree Ladies and his easv 
and witty prose in the sequel mark him for a model likel), to bave influenced 
the younger dramatists of the day. The minor plot-interest of the honest 
Jev, Gerontus, the rascally Christian, Mercatore, and the Judge, is signifi- 
cant, not onlv as the reverse of the conception dramatized in the ew of 
]lalta and the ]tlerbant af iénice, but as, vith one exception, the earliest 
elaboration of the motif that was to become prominent in the drama of the 
next fe,v years. Qualities romantic and real invest the career of the three 
Ladies ; and the characterization of the numêrous minor personages is both 
subtle and suitable to their different classes and interests. 
Although the Tbree Lordes and Ladies, one of the earliest sequels in the 
history of English drama, is "' more of a moral " than its predecessor and 
makes no improvement in plot-structure, it is of importance full)' equal. For 
what it lacks in passion and romance is more than counterbalanced by tech- 
nical qualities--the blank verse, the fluent prose, the wit of Simplicity and 
the pages, the scenic display, the varietv of incidents, and the portrayal of" 
manners. If we consider the definite "transition from abstractions to social 
and individual traits of character in this play and the preceding,- the multi- 
fold impersonation of worldly wisdom, fraud, and shoddy, one might say 
the resolution of the r61e of Vice into its component specialties ; the corre- 
sponding offset of ail these by ensamples of virtuous living, but still human ; 
and the attendant troupe of more obvious ' humours,' Simplicity and the 
pages, Painful Penury, Diligence, and the rest,--it will be evident that 
these plays of Robert Wilson are the merging of moral interlude in romanfic 
and social comedy. On this account I cannot agree with Dr. Ward, 1 who 
says that in construction and conception they mark no advance whatever upon 
the older moralities. I think they mark a significant advance. In them the 
moral has arrived at a consciousness of the deman,'ls of art ; and, attempting 
to fulfil its possibilities, it acquires body, spirit, and bouquet, even though, 
in the moment of fermentation, it bursts the bottle. Still we must re- 
member that we bave no,v reached a date, 1588-9o, by which much of 
the best work of Lylv, Marlowe, Peele, and Greene had already been pro- 
duced, and we must, therefore, not attribute to ,Vilson an importance greater 
than that of an industrious and inventive contemporary, hospitable to ideas, 
but essentially conservative in practice. He is at once ,' father of interludes," 
as interludes then were regarded, and an intermediarv bet,veen the interlude 
of moral abstractions and the comedy of humours. ILIe appears, also, to have 
played so livelv a part in the dramatic historv of his day that Mr. Fleay is 
justified in calling this period by his name ; and, therefore, a few furthe* 
I H«st. E. Dr. Lit.» I. 141. 



of English Comedy 

xci 

words concerning him and other plays which he seems to have writ:en 
rnight well be said here, but we must reserve them for another occasion. 

x4. Conclusion 
With but one or tvo exceptions the plays which we have so far passed in 
review fail in some respect or other of the plot that makes a comedy. A plot 
that is argumentative, that is a ratiocination or exemplum conducted by ab- 
stractions, is hot suflîcient to constitute comedy, though it may contribute to 
its development a unity of interest, a spiritual sequence; nor are sporadic 
situations and incidents sufficient, though humorously conceived and exe- 
cuted ; nor glimpses of types, characters or manners, nor hints of passion, nor 
satiric speeches and dialogues, though artistically dramatized, truc, appro- 
priate, and witty. None of these constitutes comed. Comedv demands 
action vitalized by a plot that is capable of revealing the social significance of 
the individual : an action of sufficient scope and reality to display the spirit of 
society in individual types and manners, or in character and ser.timent ; a 
plot sufficiently urgent to interest us, hot only in the phenomena, in the con- 
comitants, ofevery deed, but in its rnoti,'e and inherent passion. The comedy 
of external litWma)" present, by means of typical individuals and conventional 
manners, a reflex of that which is actual, or a criticism of it ; and such a 
play will be realistic or satirical. The comedv of the inner lifè, on the 
other hand, since it reveals the characteristics of humanity in the heat and 
moment of" passion, may present a vision of" the ideal ruade concrete ; it is 
therefore at once interpretative, constructive, and romantic. These two kinds 
of comedy are alike in that they display the triumph of freedom when 
regulated by common sense, the adjustment of" the individual to societv. But 
as they vary in function and result, so these kinds of comedy differ in the 
qua|ity of action which each may present. The play of convention and man- 
ners can use only the externals of" action, actions that neither strike deep nor 
spring flore the depths, for such a play aires to reproduce appearances or 
merel?" to re-create them--to criticise and correct rather than construct. 
The play of" character and passion, hot the so-called realistic, but idealistic, 
selects for presentation actions whose springs are in the inner lire ; and that is 
because it would present men and women as they should be,--individuals 
videning the social, pressing tovard the ideal, hot bv overstepping that 
which is con'entional, but by informing it with new meaning and pushing 
back its limits. Comedy, therefore, is in the plot, and the plot must pro- 
ceed flore the wisdom essential to a cotait view of lire : acceptance of the 
social environment as it appears to be, because one believes in societv as it 



xcii Historical l«iew of Englisb Comedy 

should be. The dramatist, his plot and his characters, are the exponents of 
common sense and freedom, of tbe ligbt of life as itis witb tbe s**-eemess of 
lire as it mav be. Common sense, however, may become prosaic, or liberty 
licentious ; and itis in preventing such extremes that wit and humour per- 
form their function. Neither of these can alone make a comedy, but one of 
them may sometimes save it. Both should certainly characterize it. But for 
the former, tbe drama of appearances migbt be caricature, abuse, borse-play, 
or homily ; but for tbe latter, romantic comedy would be batbos. No 
amount of wit, bowever, could save a play that did hOt possess a significant 
sequence of material and event. Tbough the booths of Bartholomew Fait 
agitate the diaphragm, they do hOt constitute comedy. Witbout plot tbe 
lunges of wit lack point ; and as for the plotless play of passion, it ends in 
Bedlam, whence ail the humour in the world cannot redeem it. 
It was a step forward when allegory made wav for concrete characters 
and manners, and the moti,'es born of social intercourse ; a further step when 
the dramatist ceased instructing and sought to amuse. But the final step 
implied the still rarer ability to create something integral and critical in one, 
something tbat should act what life means, and so unconsciously demonstrate 
that itis purposive, and more hopeful and amusing than we thought. Natu- 
rally enougb, our earlier comic plots, when they were escaping fi'om the svm- 
bolic, lacked sometimes in significance, and sometimes in sequence. OEbe 
fables of Roister Doister and Gammer Gurton mark an advance in techni- 
cal construction; but they do hOt escape the farcical, for their subjects are 
trivial. There were like,vise many experiments tobe made in the materials of 
intrigue and passion belote Damon and Pitbias and Tbe 8upposes could fulfil, 
even in part, tbe requirements of significant romance. And when, at last, 
the play with a plot had come toits own, it was long belote it attained 
wisdom to suif-use the appearances of lire with their illuminating characteristic, 
and imagination to colour the course of characteristic events. 



.'ohn tgeywood 

THE PLAY OF THE WETHER 
and 
A MERY PLAY BETWENE 
JOHAN JOHAN, THE HUSBANDF TYB, HIS WIFE, &c. 

Edited with Critical Essay and Note* 
ky llfred tK. Pollard, M.I., 
St. yobn's College, Oxfora 



CRITICAL ESSAY 

Lire.--Thc first authcntic record of John Hcywood is ont of 6 January, 
I $15, in Hcnry VIII.'s Book of Paymcnts, which shows him to have thon 
becn ont of thc King's singing mon, in rcccipt of a daily wagc of cightpcncc. 
According to Balc, who must bave known him, he was "" civis Londincnsis," 
the story that he was born at North Mimms, Hertfordshire, having apparently 
arisen ti'om his possession of land in that neighbourhood. Tradition has 
sent him to Broadgatcs Hall, now Pcmbrokc Collegc, Oxford, and thcrc is 
nothing improbable in this. In February, I $ 2 , Heywood was granted by the 
King an annuity of ten marks, and in  5 z6, a quarterly payment of the saine 
sure was ruade him as a" player of the virginals." He appears to have been 
specially attached to the retinue of the Princess Mary, a payment being ruade 
in January,  537, to lais servant for bringing ber "regalles" (or hand-organ) 
from London to Greenwich, and Heywood himselfin Match, ,538, receiv- 
ing forty shillings tbr '" pleying an interlude with lais children " belote her. 
At Mary's coronation Heywood ruade her a Latin speech in St. Paul's 
Churchyard, and in November,  558, the Queen granted him some leases in 
Yorkshire. On the accession of Elizabeth, Heywood, though he had steered 
through the reign of Edward VI. with satCy, fled to Malines, and Professor 
Ward (in the Dictionary of NationaI Biography) identifies him with the John 
Heywood who in  575 wrote t?om Malines, " where I bave been despoiled 
by Spanish and German solder," thanking Burghley for ordering the pay- 
ment to him of some arrears on lands at Romney, and speaking of himself as 
an old man ofseventy-eight, which would give 1497 as his birth-year. He 
is mentioned in a list of refugees in , 577, but by * 587 is spoken of as " dead 
and gone." Earlier biographers, it should be noted, following Anthony à 
Wood, bave placed his death in t565. Besides his plays Heywood wrote 
a Dialogue Conteyning tbe Number of tbe Effectuall Prouerbes in tbe Eng- 
Iisbe Tonge, 8ix Hundred Epigrams, and a tedious allegory Tbe Spider and 
tbe File, printed, with a woodcut of the author, in  556. 
rreywood's Place in £nglish Comedy. m The early history of 
English comedy is a record of successive efforts and experiments 
apparently leading to no result. The comic scenes in the miracle 
plays culminate in the really masterly sheep-stealing plot of the 
Secunda Pastorum in the Towneley Cycle; but the step which seems 



4 .iohn Heywood 

to us so obvious, the separation of the Pastoral Comedy from its 
religious surroundings, was never taken, and the Secunda Pastorum 
stands by itself, a solitary masterpiece. In the earlier moralities 
there are flashes of humour as in the miracle plays; in the later 
moralities we find scenes in which the effort to paint the riotous 
course of Youth, though hOt very amusing to modern readers, is 
sufficiently faithful to bring us within sight of a possible comedy 
of manners. But the morality-writer was far from entertaining 
any conception of comedy as an end in itself. His aim remained 
to the last purely didactic. It did not, indeed, occur to him, as it 
occurred to didactic writers of a later period, to represent dissipa- 
tion as so unattractive as to make it miraculous that it should 
attract. He would show it as bitter of digestion, but neither play- 
wright nor audience were concerned to deny that it was pleasant in 
the mouth, and it is improbable that readiness to acquiesce in the 
sober moral of a play diminished in the least the applause with which, 
we may be sure, any approach to gayety in the tavern scenes would 
be attended. After all, though we may sometimes be inclined to 
doubt it, audiences both at miracle plays and moralities were human. 
To the very real strain imposed on their emotions in the miracle 
plays they needed what seem to us these incongruous interludes 
of humour by way of dramatic relief, and in the moralities itis 
difficult not to believe that the humour supplied the gilding without 
which the didactic pill, ata much earlier date, must have been found 
nauseating. It remains, however, certain that alike in the miracle 
plays, the moralities, and the moral interludes such humour as can be 
round is merely incidental, and this is the justification for assigning 
to John Hevwood the honourable position which he occupies in this 
collection of English comedies. As far as we know, he was the 
first English dramatist to understand that a play might be con- 
structed with no other objects than satire and amusement, and if 
such epithets were hot fortunately a little discredited, we might 
dub him on this score the «Father" of English comedv. Pa- 
ternity, however, cannot be predicated without some evidénce of 
offspring, and it would be extremely difficult, I think, to show that 
Heywood exercised sufficient influence on any subsequent dramatist 
.to be reckoned as his literary father. The anonymous author of that 



eoAn Heywood 5 

amusing children's play, Thersites, was indeed a kindred spirit, but 
there is at least a possbility that this play should be credited to Hey- 
wood himself, and on the subsequent development of comedy his 
influence was certainly of the smallest. But to have shown that 
comedy was entitled to a separate existence, apart from didactics, 
was no small achievement, and to the credit of this demonstration 
Heywood is entitled. 
In guessing how Heywood came to make this discovery it seems 
hot unreasonable to lay some stress on the fact that, according to a 
tradition which there is no reason to doubt, he was a friend of Sir 
Thomas More, while we know that four of his plays were printed 
by William Rastell, the son of More's brother-in-law, John Rastell. 
More's interest in the drama is attested by the story of his stepping, 
on more than one occasion, among the pIayers, when they were per- 
forming before Çardinal Morton, and taking an improvised share in 
the dialogue. In the play of Sir Thoma ]klore, written towards the 
close of the century, this improvisation is transferred to an interlude 
performed during an entertainment at More's own house, and the 
introduction of this interlude into the piece, and the ready welcome 
which the Çhancellor is represented as giving the players, certainly 
argue a tradition of a keen interest in the drama on his part. John 
Rastell, again, has been credited with the authorship of at least one 
of the interludes which he printed, and quite recently some inter- 
esting documents have been discovered, which show him organizing 
a performance for which a wooden stage was erected in his own 
garden at Finsbury, setting Mrs. Rastell to help a tailor to make 
some very gorgeous dresses, and apparently engaging as players the 
craftsmen (a certain George Birch, currier, and his friends), who 
up to this date were still the customary performers, as distinct from 
a separate class of trained actors. Rastell, at this rime, and More, 
throughout his lire, held those views as to church-policy to which 
we know that Heywood himself consistently clung. The attitude of 
firm belief with an absolute readiness to satirize abuses, which we 
find in Heywood's plays, was exactly characteristic of More, and it 
does hot seem fanciful to believe that it was partly to the author of 
the Utopla, and to the circle of which he was the centre» that Hey- 
wood owed his dramatic development. 



6 ohn Heywood 

Plays assigned to him: Authorship, Dramatic Development, IAterary 
" Estimate.--There is the more reason for insisting on Hevwood's 
place as one of a little circle, interested in playwriting and play- 
acting, in that the evidence for his authorship of two of the best of 
the six interludes commonly assigned to him is extremely vague. 
h is, indeed, ver}, unfortunate that the six plays divide themselves 
into a group of four and a group of two, and that whereas the four 
plays of the first group are ail positively assigned to him in one case 
in a contemporary manuscript, said to be in his own writing, in the 
others in contemporary printed editions, the two plays of the second 
group were both published anonymously, although, like The Play of 
Love and The Play ofthe II/'ether, they were issued by Villiam Ras- 
tell, and appeared within a few months of these plays to which Hev- 
wood's naine is duly attached. In the case of publications of our 
own da we shouid certainly be justified in thinking that the asser- 
tion of Ris authorship in two cases and the failure to assert it in two 
others were intentional and significant. But in the first half of the 
sixteenth century there was stiil much carelessness in these matters, 
while the difference is fairly well accounted for by the fact that in 
The Play of Love and Play of the ll/'ether Rasteil printed the title and 
dramatis personee on a separate leaf, whereas in The Pardoner and the 
Frere and ohan ohan there is only a head title. However this may 
be, we are bound in the first instance to consider b7 themselves the 
four plays of which Heywood's authorship is bev'ond dispute. 
In approaching these four plays we must prepare ourseives to 
judge them relatively to the other work of the very dull period of 
English ]iterature at which they were written. To make this claire 
for them is to admit that they are imperfect, important historicallv 
rather than absolutely for their own worth; but the admission is 
one which no sane critic can avoid, and it is here made with alacritv. 
XVhat it gains for Hevwood is the recognition that two strong]v 
marked features of the'se plays, one of which is now likely to repe], 
and the other to weary, most modern readers, in his own day helped 
to make them amusing. The repellent feature is, of course, that 
humour of filth which, quite as much as his sexual indecencies, 
makes some passages both in the Four PP. and The Play of the 
Ikéther disgusting even to readers not consciously squeamish. The 



o,Heywood 7 

epithet «beastly' which Pope applied to Skelton is certainly on this 
score no less appropriate to Heywood, but it needs no wide acquain- 
tance with the popular literature of his day to learn that this wretched 
stuffwas round amusing for its own sake. To suppress this fact, 
ekher by expurgating or by deliberately choosing a less typical play 
for the sake of its accidental decency, would be to falsify evidence, 
and any such falsification would be grossly unjust to Heywood's 
successors. It is only by realizing how low was the conception of 
humour in the sixteenth century that we can explain the existence 
in the plays of Shakespeare himself of passages which would other- 
wise be wholly amazing. 
For the other feature in Heywood's plays which now excites 
more weariness than interest there is no need to apologize; we 
may even confess that our failure to relish it is due to our own 
weakness. In Heywood's days one of the chier aims of education 
was skill in argument. Men disputed their way to academical 
degrees, and the quickest path to reputation was the successful 
maintenance against ail comers of some hazardous proposition. 
lnstead of introducing this siege-train of argument into their plays, 
modern dramatists have preferred the lighter weapons of verbal 
pleasantry and repartee which make what is called " pointed dia- 
logue." A request from one of the dramatis persona to another 
"in this cause to shewe cause reasonable .... Hearyng and 
aunswerynge me pacyently " would assuredly empty any theatre of 
ourown day. But the audience who listened toit in Heywood's 
Play of Love no doubt settled themselves in their places with an 
anticipation of enjoyment. And we may fairly grant that our 
author is not wholly unsuccessful in vivacious argument. For a 
lady to compare the suit of an unwelcome loyer to an invitation 
"to graunte hym my good wyll to stryke of If] my hed," pleasingly 
illustrates the unreasonableness of too great pertinacity on the part 
of the rejected. The objection "Howe many have ye known 
bang willingly" shatters at a blow the seemingly sound plea that 
as the convict suffers more than his hangman, so the rejected loyer 
is more to be pitied than the most tender-hearted lady who finds 
herself obliged to refuse him. The ups and downs of the argument 
are often conducted with ingenuity, and an audience to whom argu- 



8 ohn He.ywood 

ment was amusing for its own sake no doubt applauded every point. 
Two of Heywood's plays depend aimost entirely on their logical 
attractions, -- the interlude, left unprinted till its issue by the Percy 
Society in 1846 , to which bas been given as title The Dialogue of 
II"t't and Folly, and The Play of Love twice printed by Rastell (1533 
and 1534)and once by ,Valey. The former is purely argumenta- 
tire, discussing the question as to whether the fool or the sage bas 
the pleasanter life. The Play of Love, on the other hand, may be 
said to have two episodes, the first a monologue of some three hun- 
dred lines in which the Vice, « Neither Loving nor Loved," narrates 
his ili-success in an endeavour to conquer the heart of a lady with- 
out losing his own, the second his appearance with a bucketful of 
squibs and a false story of a tire at the bouse of the happy lover's 
mistress. The argument in this play is double, « Loving hOt 
Loved" and « Loved hOt Loving" contending as to which is the 
more miserable, and « Both Loved and Loving" and « Neither Lov- 
ing nor Loved " as to which is the happier. As each pair appoints 
the other as joint arbitrators, it is perhaps more surprising that any 
conclusion was reached, than that it shouid be the rather tame one 
that the pains of the first pair and the happiness of the second were 
in each case exactly equal. 
In connection with these two plays we ought perhaps to allude to 
another, very similar in its form, the dialogue of Gent,.lnes and No- 
bylyte, 1 of which the authorship bas often been attributed to Heywood. 
This play is certainly printed in John Rastell's types, but in place 
of a colophon it bas the words « Johannes Rasteil fieri fecit," and as 
Rastell wouid probably bave written « imprimi fecit" if he had been 
alluding merely to its printing, we can hardly doubt that the word 
« fieri" refers to performance, if not to composition. ,Vith the 
evidence we now bave that John Rasteli had plays acted in his own 
garden, « fieri fecit" seems exactly translatable by « caused to be 
produced," and as Mrs. Rasteil helped the tailor to make the dresses, 
so probably the lawyer-printer helped to write the play. Its two 

I The full title of this play is rather instructive : -- "Of Gentylnes & Nobylyte : a dyaloge 
betwen the marchaunt, the knyght & the plowrnan dysputyng who is a verey gentylman & 
who is a noble man and how men shuld corne to aucton.«e, compiled in rnaner of an eaterlude 
with divers toys & gestis addyd therto to make mery pastyme and disport." 



oAu Heyood  

parts are each diversified by the Plowman beating Knight and Mer- 
chant (verberat eos is the stage-direction), but otherwise it is ail shee 
argument, which in the end a philosopher is introduced to sum up. 
The tone of the interlude is singularly democratic, the Plowman 
throughout having the best of it, and, despite a natural similarity be- 
tween some of the speeches with those of the "Gentylman" and the 
"Marchaunt " in the Play of the Il/éther, there seems no reason for 
connecting with it the name of Heywood, who, for the better part of 
his life, was in the service of the Court. 
In " The playe called thefoure PP. : a newe and a very mery enter- 
lude of a palmer, a pardoner, a potycary, a perlier,'" the advance in 
dramatic form as compared with The Play of Love is very slight, 
though the play is much more vivid and amusing. The Pal_mer 
begins it with an account of his wanderings, and then the other three 
characters come on the stage, each catching up the words of the last 
speaker, and vaunting his own profession. The argument between 
Palmer, Pardoner, and Pothecary waxes hot, and at last the Pedler 
suggests that as lying is the one matter in which they are ail skilled, 
their order of merit can best be determined by a contest in this art, 
and offers himself as the judge. At first the competitors lie vaguely. 
Then it is resolved that the lie must take the form of a tale, and the 
Pothecary tells a long story of the effect of one of his medicines; 
then the Pardoner a much longer one of a visit to Hell and the 
rescue thence of a shrew of whom Lucifer was very glad to be rid ; 
finally the Palmer in a few words expresses his surprise that there 
should be such shrews in Hell, as in all his travels he never ),et knew 
one woman out of patience -- a remark which straightway wins him 
the preëminence, though there is more tedious wrangling, before a 
serious little speech from the Pedler brings the play to a close. 
The Four PP. is, to our thinking, insufferably spun out ; but, except 
in the epilogue, as we may call it, it is plain that its intention was 
solely to amuse- 
To passe the tyme in thys without offence 
Was the cause why the maker dyd make it, 
And so we humbly beseche you take it, 

says the Pedler:--and in substituting stories and a lighter form of 



I 0 011ll Heywood 

argument for the more formal disputation of the Dyaloge of llît and 
Folly and the Play of Love it comes a little nearer to the modern 
conception of comedy, and may be thought to have deserved the 
success which it is said to have achieved. 
The possession by the Play of the lI/ether of an obvious moral-- 
the mess which men would make of rain, wind, and sunshine if" thev 
had the ruling of them--is undoubtedly a link with the interluds 
of a didactic character, and so may seem at first sight to place it in 
a lower grade of dramatic development. There can be little doubt 
that it was acted by Heywood's company of « children," whom we 
hear of as performing under his direction before the Princess Mary, 
and a children's play would perhaps naturally be cast in this form. 
But the form is here less important than the intention, and it does 
not need ,Xlery-report's comment (,t now shall ye have the wether 
--even as yt was") to tell us that Heywood's didactics were purely 
humorous. The point to be noted is that this is really a play--a 
play, moreover, which if it could be shortened and the unforgivable 
passages omitted, might be acted bv children of the present day with 
some enjoyment. The part of « the Boy, the least that can play" 
is charming. There is stage furniture in Jupiter's « trone," and in 
the coming and going of the characters at least a semblance of ac- 
tion. We must note, however, the set disputation between the two 
millers, as still linking it with Heywood's other argumentative plays, 
though with ail its faults it is the brightest and most pleasing of its 
class. 
,Ve corne now to the two plays, The Pardoner and the Frere and 
ohan ohan, which modern writers have uniformlv assigned to 
Heywood, although Villiam Rastell printed them f without anv 
author's name, and no one has yet adduced contemporary evidenc'e 
for assigning them to Hevwood. In neither of these plays is there 
anv trace of the disputati)n which in those we have been looking at 
is so conspicuous. They are both true comedies, comedies in mini- 
ature if you like, but true comedies, with a definite scene and dra- 
matic action. The Pardoner and the Frere is little more than an 
expansion of hints given by Chaucer, from whom the author does 
hot hesitate to borrow two whole passages, but the development of 
I Tbe Pardoner and te Frere is dated 5 April  5 3 3 ; oan oan» 1 • February, 1 5 3 34." 



o]on Heywood   

the little plot is well managed and the climax when the Parson and 
Neighbour Prat are badly worsted and the two rogues go off in 
triumph is thoroughly artistic. It bas been said that this play must 
bave been written during the lire of Leo X., who died in I52i , 
because the Pardoner's speech contains the passage (omitting the 
Friar's interruptions) :-- 

Worshypfull maysters ye shall understand 
That Pope Leo the X hath graunted with his hand, 
And by his bulls contrmed under lede, 
To all maner people, bothe quycke and dede, 
Ten thousand yeres & as man), lentes of pardon, etc. 

But as Heywood was probably born in 497, it is extremely un- 
likely that his undoubted plays were written before 1520, and if the 
evidence of this passage is to be pressed, I should regard it as abso- 
lutely fatal to his authorship, it being inconceivable that anv one 
who had written the Pardoner and the ffrere could subsequentlywrite 
the Dyaloge " tl/yt and Folly or the Play of Love. But there would be 
an obvious convenience in making a dead pope rather than a living 
one answerable for the Pardoner's ribaldries, and the weight of this 
argument is not lessened when we remember that the Pardoner 
proceeds to quote also the authority of the King. 1 Although 
no alteration of date would bring the play out of the reign of 
Henry VIII., we may well believe that that peremptory monarch 
might forgive such reflections on his management of church affairs 
at an earlier date much more readily than satire of a system he was 
then supporting. 
We shall bave to speak again of the Pardoner and tbe Frere and its 
probable date, but we must pass on now to Heywood's masterpiece, 
if we may call it his, the mery play betwene ohan ohan, the bus- 
bande, Tyb his wyfe and Svr han, the preest. In approaching this 
play, as in approaching Chaucer's tales of the Millet and Reeve 
and some of their fellows, we must, of course, leave our moralits 

1 And eke, yf thou dysturbe me anythynge, 
Thou art also a traytour to the Kynge, 
For here bath he graunted me vnder his brode seale 
That no man, yf he love hys hele 
Sholde me dysturbe or let in any w*/se 



 oAn Heywood 

behind and accept the playwright's and tale-teller's convention that 
cuckoldry and cuckoldmaking are natural subjects for humour. This 
granted, it will be difficuh to find a flaw in the play. Like the 
Pardoner and the Frere itis short, only about one hall the length of 
the plays of Love, the lIéther, and the Four PP., and it gains greatly 
from being less weighted with superfluities. Johan Johan himsdf, 
with his boasting and cowardice, his eagerness tobe deceived, and 
futile attempts to put a good face on the marrer, his burning desire 
to partake of the pie, his one moment of self-assertion, to which 
disappointed hunger spurs him, and then his fresh co]lapse to ludi- 
crous uneasiness,--who can deny that he is a triumph of dramatic 
art, just human enough and natural enough to seem very human 
and natural on the stage, but with the ludicrous side of him so 
sedulously presented to the spectator that there is never any risk of 
compassion for him becoming uncomfortablv acute ? The handling 
of Tyb and Svr Jhan is equally clever. Each in turn is prepared 
to act on the defensive, to be evasive and explanatory, but before 
Johan Johan's acquiesciveness such devices seem superfluous, and 
little by little the pair reach a height of effrontery not easily sur- 
passed. One of the incidents of the play, the melting of the wax 
bv the tire, occurs also in a contemporary French Farce nouuelle tres- 
bonne et fort Joyeuse de Pernet qui va au vin, and it is certainly in the 
French farces that we find the nearest approach in tone and treat- 
ment, as well as in form, to this anonymous Johan Johan. 
Dates. The Authorship of "Thersites." -- It may bave been noticed 
that in passing these six plays in review the order followed bas been 
purely that of their dramatic development. ,Ve know that four of 
them were printed in 1533, when Heywood was thirtv-six or there- 
abouts, but with the exception of the reference to Leo X. in the Par- 
doner and tbe Frere, the significance of which I bave given reasons 
for considering doubtful, no one bas yet detected any time-reference 
which enables us to fix their approximate dates.  In his little 
treatise )ohn Heywood ah Dramatiker (1888) Dr. Swoboda main- 
tains that the Pardoner must be placed earlier than the Four PP., and 
that the Four PP. can be shown to be earlier than the anonymous 
I If the reference in 1. 636 of the Play of tbe H"etber (sec note) is to be pressed» this would 
be an exception, giving us between ! Sz and 15 3 3 as the date of composition. 



.o/n Heywood  3 

play of Thersites, which we know from its epilogue was acted at 
Court between October 12 and 24, 1537, the dates respectively 
of the birth of Edward VI. and the death of his mother, Jane Sey- 
mour. 1 In support of his first point he cites the fact that some of 
the relics (" the grete toe of the Trinite" and "of ail Hallows the 
blessed jawbone") vaunted by the Pardoner in his sermon in the 
church appear again in the longer list of relics in the Four PP. 
In support of the second he quotes from Thersites the lines 9. in which 
that hero proposes to visit Purgatory and Hell, and traces in them 
an allusion to the Pardoner's story in the Four PP. I cannot 
accept either of these arguments as decisive chronologically, it 
being quite as reasonable for a dramatist to abridge a list of relics 
as to expand it, while the boast of Thersites might be represented 
as the hint out of which the rescue of Mistress Margery Çoorson 
was developed no less plausibly than as a reference to that notorious 
lie. The Pardoner and the Frere seems to me dramatically more 
advanced than the Four PP., and I am therefore slow to accept any 
argument which would place it earlier; but even when we allow 
for the fact that Chaucer had fixed for ail time the humorous treat- 
ment of Pardoners, the fact that the Pardoners in these two plays 
are so closely alike is an argument of some weight for their common 
authorship, a But if this be so, the reference to sweeping Hell 
I Dr. Swoboda erroneously places Edward VI.'s birth in August, a slip of some importance 
as to some extent spoiling his argument that Tioersites must bave been written for a performance 
at an earlier date. But perhaps even in October it would hot be quite correct to say "ALI herbs 
are dead" while the reference to a New Year's gift, though not quite decisive, makes it proba- 
ble that the play was written for a Christmas entertainment. In any case it is intrinsically prob- 
able that a play acted at an improvised festivity on the birth of an heir to the throne would be 
an old one rather than specially written for the occasion. 
 If no man will with me battle take, 
A voyage to hell quickly I will make, 
And there I wiLI beat the devil and his dame s 
And brlng the souls away : I fully intend the sarne. 
A, fier that in Hell I have ruffled so 
Straight to old Purgatory will I go, 
I wiLI clean that so purge round about 
That we shall need no pardons to help them out. 
s Dr. Swoboda who speaks of the plays from the press of William RasteLI as printed by Iris 
father (John), was apparently unaware that neither Tbe Pardoner and tioe Frere nor oioan 
oban bears Heywood's name and takes Iris authorship of them for granted. 



clean in ThersiteÆ may set us wondering whether it was not the 
author of the Four PP. who was most likely to have written it; 
and we may note also the repetition in Thersites of the absurd 
boasting with which Johan Johan preludes his disclosure of his 
cowardice, while the incident of Telemachus belongs to that 
" humour of filth" which I have already noted as characteristic 
of Heywood. For the probability of the latter's authorship of 
Thersites we mav claim also a little external support. Ve have 
alreadv noticed tbat in Match, 538, Heywood received forty shil- 
lings i'or the performance by his " children " of an interlude before 
the Princess Marv. Now Thersites is obviouslv intended for perform- 
ance bv children ; it was acted a few months previously to the pay- 
ment of March, 538,1 in honour of Jane Seymour, to whom Mary, 
in return for ber abundant klndness, was greatly attached; and again 
Marv's fondness l'or the classics would explain the selection of a 
classical burlesque if, as is probable, she was present when it was 
acted. Given the facts that Hevwood had alreadv in the Play of 
the lléther brought Jupiter on "the stage, that "hersites bears at 
least some slight resemblances to other plays attributed to him, 
that he was in the service of the Princess Mary, and was manager, 
whether permanently or temporarily, about this time, of a company 
of children, and I think we have a fairly strong case for attributing 
Thersites to his pen. If this theory be accepted, the probabiliy of 
his authorship of both the Pardoner and the Frere and ohan rohan 
is considerably increased; for if Thersites is by Heywood, itis good 
enough to form an important link between these plays and his argu- 
mentative interludes, while if Thersites be hot by Heywood, there 
was then some other playwright of the day for whom a strong claim 
might be put forward to the authorship of these other anonymous 
plays. 
Sources. uThe fact that an opportunity for writing about Hev- 
wood is hot likely to recur very often must be offered as an excuse 
for interpolating questions of detail into this preface. For the 
broader view of the subject which we ought here to take it is obvious 
that the authorship of this or that play is hot very important. XVhat 

1 It is not contended that the payment was for the performance of Ter*ite,, only that it 
shows that Heywood was a likd.v man tobe called on to produce a ph.v about this period. 



.o/m He.ywood  S 

concerns us here is that we can see even in the less developed group 
of plays English comedy emancipating itself from the miracle-play 
and morality, and in the Pardoner and tbe Frere and oban 
becoming identical in form with the French fifteenth-century farce. 
Whether we ought to go beyond this and assert absolute borrowing 
from French originals is rather a difficult question. The Farce 
nouuelle d'un Pardonneu G d'un triacleur et d'une tauerniere may cer- 
tainly have supplied the idea both of the preaching-match between 
Pardoner and F'riar and also of the comparison of the wares of Par- 
doner and Pothecary. The Farce nouudle tresbonne et fort Joyeuse de 
Pernet qui va au vin contains two passages  which must have some 
direct connection with ohan ohan. The only extant edition of 
Pernet qui va au vin was « nouvellement imprimé" in i548 , and 
the date of its prototype is unknown. The Farce d'un Pardonneur, 
in the edition which has corne down to us is certainly later than 
154o but this also was probably a reprint. Thus despite the fact 
1 See notes to 11. 263 and 45z. I quote here the end of the French farce in order to giv« 
the" wax" episode in rail. 
Le Cousin. Or ca cousin iay pense 
Dung subtil affaire, 
Dont vous serez riche a iamas. 
Pernet. Riche, cousin ? 
Le Cousin. Certes, sire, vous fault chatzfftr 
Et faire ung subtil ouuraig 
Qui vous gardera de dommaige, 
Cousin, beau sire. 
permt. Me fault il donc chauffer la  
Tandis que vous banqueterez ? 
Corbieu, ien suis marry, 
Je croy que ce paste est bon. 
Le Cousin. Chauffez 8: mettez du chartmn 
Lymaige sera proffittable. 
Po'net. Vous irayge signer h table ? 
Je scay bien le benedicite. 
Le Cousin. Faictes ce que iay recite. 
Dea ! cousin ! ne perdez point de temps. 
pernet. Cest vng trespouure passetemps 
De chauffer la cire quant on digne ! 
Regardez elle est plus molle que laine 
En la chauffant rien naqueste. 
l.e Cousin. Conclus & conqueste ! 
Auec h femme le banqueste, 
Combien que le ne soye le sire 
Et son mary chauffe la cire. 



 6 ohn Heywood 

that the handling of the incidents in the English plays is far more 
skilful than in the French, it would seem too daring to suggest that 
the French farces can be borrowed from the English, and in any 
case we may imagine that the English dramatist did not make his 
new departure unaided, but was consciously working on the lines 
which had long been popular in France. By doing so he did not 
lay the foundation of English comedy, for it was not on these lines 
that out comedv subsequently developed. But it was at least a hope- 
ful omen for tle future that an English playwright so easily attained 
a real mastery in the only school of comedy with which he could 
bave been acquainted. It was something also that the right of 
comedv to exist as a source of amusement apart from instruction 
had béen successfully vindicated. These were two real achieve- 
ments, and they must always be connected with the naine of John 
Hevwood. 
" Play of the Wether" : Early Editions and the Present Text. At 
the time I write, the Play ofthe lIéther has not been reprinted since 
the sixteenth century. Its bibliography has been rather confused 
bv the existence of two texts of it, one at St. John's College, Oxford, 
tlîe other at the University Library» Cambridge, each wanting the last 
leaf, containing in the one case twenty, and in the other sixteen, lines 
of the text and the colophon with the printer's name. The only per- 
fect copy hitherto generally known is that preserved at the Bodleian 
Library, which belongs to an edition " Imprinted at London in Paules 
Churchyearde, at the Sygne of the Sunne, by Anthonie Kvtson" 
whose career as a publisher seems to have been comprised within the 
years  549 and  579- Of this as the only complete edition I then 
knew I made my first transcript, though subsequent collation showed 
that the imperfect edition at St. John's College contained many better 
readings and an earlier spelling, while the copy at the University 
Library, Cambridge (sometimes, though I think erroneously, attrib- 
uted to the press of Robert XVyer), belonged to an intermediate 
edition. The registration by the Bibliographical Society in its Hand- 
lists of Englisb Printers, 150 I-I 556, of the copy of an edition of 1533, 
printed by XVilliam Rastell, in the Pepys Collection at Magdalene 
College, Cambridge, sent me to Cambridge for a new transcript. 
On examination, the Magdalene edition proved to be identical with 



o/m He.yvood 1 7 

that at St. John's College, Oxford, which had previously been con- 
jecturally assigned to Rastell, perhaps by some one who had seen it 
before the last leaf disappeared. In reproducing Rastell's text I 
bave not thought it necessary to print my collation of the later edi- 
tions, as it is clear that the unidentified edition at the Uni,,ersity 
Library, Cambridge (U. L. C.), was printed from Rastell's, and Kit- 
son's from this. The printer of the U. L. C. edition introduced 
some errors into his text, most of which Kitson copied : e.g. hote for 
hore in l. 38 , omission of second so in l. 68, and of second as in 
l. 72, name for maner in l. I15, or for 0fin l. 357, weforI in l. .27, 
plumyng for plumpyng in l. 657 , thynges for thynge in l. 660, shew:,'ng 
for skewryng in l. 66I,ye foryt in l. 699 , and for all in l. 705, belyke 
for be leak [e]y in l. 800 ; though he corrected a few : e.g. pale for dale 
in l. 277. On the other hand, Kitson introduced some sixty or 
seventy errors of his own such as creatour for creature in l. 5, well 
for we in l. 2x, myngled for mynglynge in l. I.., mery for mar; in 
l. 366, beseched for besecheth in l. 3-7, pycked for p'ycked in l. .67, 
bodily for boldely in l. .7 o, solyter for solycyter in l. .96, etc. As these 
variations are obviously misprints and nothing more, it would have 
been pedantic to record them in full, and these samples will doubt- 
less suffice. The following title-page is a representation, not a 
reproduction, of the original. There is no running head-line in 
Rastell's text. 
A-»RED ,V. Po.I,RD. 



IL Ebe ptaç of tbe wêtbêr 

19 



The Play of the Wether 

ïupyter , i 

,'Yght farre to Ionge as now were to recyte 
I . The auncyent estate wherein out selfe bath leyned, 
 [' What honour, what laude, gyven us of very ryght, 
: What glory we have had, dewly unfayned, 
Of eche creature, which dewty hath constrayned ; 
For above ail goddes, syns our father's fale, 
We, Jupiter, were ever pryncypale. 
If we so have beene, as treuth yt is in dede, 
Beyond the compas of ail comparyson, 
Who coulde presume to shew, for any mede, IO 
So that yt myght appere to humayne reason, 
The hye renowne we stande in at this season ? 
For, syns that heven and earth were fyrste create 
Stode we never in suche tryumphaunt estate 
As we now do, whereof we woll reporte 5 
Suche parte as we se mete for tyme present, 
Chyefely concernynge your I perpetuall comforte, 
As the thynge selfe shall prove in experyment, 
Whyche hyely shall bynde you, on knees lowly ben h 
Sooly to honour oure hyenes, day by day. .o 
And now to the mater gyve eare, and we shall say. 
Before our presens, in out hye parlyament, 
Both goddes and goddeses of ail degrees 
Hath z late assembled, by comen assent, 
1 l.e. of the audience as representing mankind. 
 For use as a plural cf. I. 34.7 ' besecheth," 844 ye doth.' 

$! 



zz The Play of the llP'ether 

For the redres of certayne enormytees, 
Bred amonge them, thorow extremytees 
Abusyd in eche to other of them ail, 
Namely, to purpose, in these moste specyall : 

Our forsayde father Saturne, and Phebus, 
Eolus and Phebe, these foure 1 by name, 
Vhose natures, not onely, so farre contraryous, 
But also of malyce eche other to defame, 
Have longe tyme abused, ryght farre out of frame, 
The dew course of ail theyr constellacyons, 
To the great damage of ail yerthly nacyons : 

,Vhvche was debated in place sayde before ; 
And fyrste, as became, our father moste auncyent, 
,Vith berde whvte as SHOW, his lockes both colde & hore, 
Hath entred 9. such mater as served his entent, 
Laudynge his frosty mansyon in the fyrmament, 
To avre & yerth as thynge moste precyous, 
Pourgynge ail humours that are contagyous. 

How be yt, he alledgeth that, of longe tyme past, 
Lvttell hath prevayled his great dylygens, 
FII oft uppon yerth his fayre frost he hath cast, 
Ail thynges hurtfull to banysh out of presens. 
But Phebus, entendynge to kepe him in sylens, 
,Vhen he hath labored ail nyght in his powres, a 
His glarynge beamys maryth ail in two howres. 

Phebus to this made no maner answerynge, 
Nhereuppon they both then Phebe defyed, 
Eche for his parte leyd in her reprovynge 
That bv her showres superfluous thev have tryed4i 
In ail that she may theyr powres be denyed; 
Wherunto Phebe made answere no more 
Then Phebus to Saturne hadde made before. 

3 ° 

35 
Aiib 

4 ° 

45 

55 

I The lispenses repectively of frost» sunshine, wind, and tain. 
2 placel on record, s power not ' pores.' 4 that which they bave exrienc. 



The Play of the lYether 23 

Anone uppon Eolus all these dyd fie, 
Complaynynge theyr causes, eche one arow, 
And sayd, to compare, none was so evyll as he ; 
For, when he is dysposed his blastes to blow, 
He suffereth neyther sone-shyne, rayne nor snowe. 
They eche agaynste other, and he agaynste al three,-- 
Thus can these iiii in no maner agree! 
Whyche serte in themselfe, and further consyderynge, 
The same to redres was cause of theyr assemble ; 
And, also, that we, evermore beynge, 
Besyde our puysaunt power of deite, 
Of wysedome and nature so noble and so fre, 
From ail extremytees the meane devydynge, 
To pease and plente eche thynge attemperynge, 
They have, in conclusyon, holly surrendryd 
Into our handes, at mych as concernynge 
Ail maner wethers by them engendryd, 
The full of theyr powrs, for terme everlastynge, 
To set suche order as standyth wyth our pleasynge, 
Whyche thynge, as of our parte, no parte requyred, 
But of all theyr partys ryght humbly desyred, 
To take uppon us. Wherto we dyd assente. 
And so in ail thynges, with one voyce agreable, 
We bave clerely fynyshed our foresayd parleament, 
To your great welth, whyche shall be fyrme and stable, 
And to our honour farre inestymable ; 
For syns theyr powers, as ours, addyd to our owne, 
Who can, we say, know us as we shulde be knowne . 
But now, for fyl'le, 1 the rest of out entent, 
Wherfore, as now, we ht, ther are dyscendt, d , 
Is onely to satysfye and content 
AIl maner people whyche bave been offendïd 
B t' any wether mete to be amendyd, 

6o 

65 

7 ° 

75 

8o 

 ¢on¢lu.ion. 



9.4; T/e Pla.y of t/e llether 

Uppon whose complayntes, declarynge theyr grefe 9 o 
,Ve shall shape remedye for theyr relefe. 
And to gyve knowledge for theyr hyther resorte 
We wolde thys afore proclaymed to be 
To ail our people, by some one of thys sorte, 1 
Vhome we lyste, to choyse here amongest ail ye. 95 
SVherfore eche man avatmce and we shal se 
SVhyche of you is moste mete to be our cryer. 
ttere entreth MERY-REVORTEo 
Alery-reporte. Brother,  holde up your torche a lytell hyer! 
Now, I beseche you, my lorde, loke on me furste. 
I truste your lordshyp shall hOt fynde me the wurste. 
upyter. Vhy ! what arte thou that approchyst so ny ? 
Alery-reporte. Forsothe, and please your lordshyppe, itis I. 
upyter. Ail that we knowe very well, But what I ? 
Alerr-reporte. ,Vhat I ? Some saye I am I perse I. 
But, what maner I so ever be I, 
I assure your good lordshyp, I am I. 
upyter. ,Vhat maner man arte thou, shewe quickely. 
]Iery-reporte. By god, a poore gentylman, dwellyth hereby. 
",Ïupyter. A gentylman ! Thyselfe bryngeth wytnes naye 
Both in thy lyght behavour and araye. I o 
But what arte thou called where thou dost resorte 
]Iery-reporte. Forsoth, mv lorde, mayster Mery-reporte. 
",Ïupyter. Thou arte no mete man in our bysynes, 
For thvne apparence is of to mych lyghtnes. 
Iery-reporté. Vhv can not your lordshyp lyke my maner 
Myrte appareil, nor my name nother ? 
Ïupyter. To nother of all we bave devocyon. 
l,Iery-reporte. A proper lycklyhod of promocyon! 
Vell, than, as wyse as ye seme to be 
Yet can ye se no wysdome in me. 12o 
I Le. -ome one in the audience. 
 Said to one of the attendants. 
8 The phrase in alphabet-learning for aletter -ounded by itself 
per s« A " (Hawkins' Origin of English Drama» 



T e P ]a ff of t  e l[/e t  e r - 5 

But syns ye dysprayse me for so lyghte an elfe, 
I praye you gyve me leve to prayse my-selfe : 
And, for the fyrste parte, I wyll begyn 
In my behavour at my commynge in, 
Wherin I thynke I have lytell off'endyd, 5 
For, sewer, my curtesy coulde hOt be amendyd 
And, as for my sewt your servaunt to be, 
Myghte yll bave bene myst for your honeste 
For, as I be saved, yf I shall hOt lye, 
I saw no man sew for the offyce but I ! 13o 
Wherfore yf ye take me hOt or I go, 
Ye must anone, whether ye wyll or no. 
And syns your entent is but for the wethers, 
What skyls I our appareil to be fryse  or fethers ? 
I thynke it wisdome, syns no man forbad it, 
With thys to spare a better-- yf I had it 
And, for my naine, reportyng alwaye trewly, 
What hurte to reporte a sad mater merely 
As, by occasyon, for the saine entent, 
To a serteyne wedow thys daye was I sent, 4 
Whose husbande departyd wythout her wyttynge, 
A specyall good loyer and she hys owne swettynge ! a 
To whome, at my commyng, I caste suche a fygure, 
Mynglynge the mater accordynge to my nature, 
That when we departyd,  above al other thynges, 45 
She thanked me hartely for my mery tydynges ! 
And yf I had hOt handled yt merely, 
Perchaunce she myght bave taken yt hevely ; 
But in suche facyon I conjured and bounde ber, 
That I left her meryer then I founde her[ 
What man may compare to showe the lyke comforte 
That dayly is shewed by me, Mery-reporte 
And, for your purpose, at this tyme ment, 
For ail wethers I ara so indyfferent, 5 
Without aff'eccyon, standynge so up-ryght, 155 
Son-lyght, mone-lyght, ster-lyght, twy-light, torch-light, 
1 matters, a frieze. 6 impartial. 

a sweeting, sweetheart, t separated. 



_6 The P/a), of t/e llZet/er 

Cold, hete, moyst, drye, hayle, rayne, frost, snow, lightnyng, 
thunder, 
CIoudy, mysty, wyndy, fayre, fowle, above hed or under, 
Temperate or dystemperate, whatever yt be, 
I promvse your lordshyp, ail is one to me. 
uprter. Vell, sonne, consydrynge thyne indyfferency, 
And partely the test of thy declaracyon, 
We make the out servaunte and immediately 
Vell woll thou departe and cause proclamacyon, 
Publyshynge our pleasure to every nacyon, 165 
,Vhvche thynge ons done, wyth ail dylygens, 
Male thv returne agayne to this presens, 
Here to receyve ail sewters of eche degre; 
And suche as to the may seme moste metely, 
XVe wvll thou brynge them before out majeste, ! 70 
And for the test, that be hot so worthy, 
lake thou reporte to us effectually, 
So that we may heare eche marier sewte at large. 
Thus se thow departe and loke uppon thy charge! 
A,lerr-reporte. Now, good mv lorde god, out lady be wyth ye ! 175 
Frendes, a fellyshyppe,  let me go by ye! 
Thvnke ye I mav stande thrustyng amonge you there 
Nay, by god, I muste thruste aboute other gere! 
MERY-REPORTE goeth out. 
4t thende* of thi taF  tbe god hatb a ong played in hi trone or 
ERY-REPORrE tome in. 
upiter. Now, syns we have thus farre set forth out purpose, 
A whyle we woll wvthdraw our godly presens, 8o 
To embold ail such more playnely to dysclose, 
As here wvll attende, in out foresayd pretens. 
And now,'accordynge to your obedyens, 
Rejoyce ye in us with joy most joyfully, 
And we our-selfe shall joy in out owne glory 

out of good fellow,laip. 

Aiv 
185 
[JoPI'I'ER bere doJeJ tbe curtain of biJ tbrone.] 
u the end. * equi*alent to stanza 



e P]ay of t]e et]er -7 

MERY-REPORTE '0/I iv. 
Now, syrs, take hede! for here cometh goddes ser- 

Mery-reporte. 
vaunt [ 
Avaunt ! carte [r] lv" keytyfs, 1 avaunt [ 
Why, ye dronken horesons, wyll yt hot be ? 
By your fayth, bave ye nother cap nor kne ? 
Not one of you that wyll make curtsy x9o 
To me, that ara squyre for goddes precyous body ? 
Regarde ye nothynge myne authoryte ? 
No welcome home ! nor where have ye be ? 
How be yt, yf ye axyd, I coulde hOt well tell, 
But suer I thynke a thousande mvle from hell, 195 
And on my fayth, I thinke, in my consciens, 
I have been from hevyn as farre as heven is hens, 
At Lovyn, 2 at London and in Lombardy, 
At Baldock, a at Barfolde, 4 and in Barbary, 
At Canturbery, at Coventre, at Çolchester, 200 
At Wansworth and Welbecke, 5 at Vestchester, 
At Fullam, at Faleborne, and at Fenlow, 
At Wallyngford, at Wakefeld, and at Valtamstow, 
At Tawnton, at Typtre 6 and at Totnam, 7 
At Glouceter, at Gylford and at Gotham, 205 
At Hartforde, at Harwyche, at Harowe on the hyll, 
At Sudbery, 8 Suth hampton, at Shoters Hyll, 9 
At Walsingham, at Wyttam l° and at Werwycke, 
At Boston, at Brystown and at Berwycke, 
At Gravelyn, lz at Gravesend, and at Glastynbery, 21o 
Ynge Gyngiang Jayberd the paryshe of Butsbery. la 
The devyll hym-selfe, wythout more leasure, 
Could hot have gone halle thus myche, I am sure ! 

I clownish rascals. " Tottenham. 
 Louvain. a In Suffolk. 
a In Herts. ç Near Woo|wlch. 
 Perhaps one of" the numerou Barford. 10 Witham, in Essex. 
 In Notts.  Brlstol. 
 In Essex. r Posfibly Gravelye near Baldock. 
1 There is a parish of Buttsbury in Essex "- ' ynge Gyngiang Jayberd " defies explanation. 



z8 TAe Play of te lIoeetAer 

But, now I have warned 1 them, let them even chose ; 
For, in fayth, I care not who wynne or lose z 5 
Here tbe gentylman before be «ometb in blowetb bis borne. 
l'bleui-reporte. Now, by my trouth, this was a goodly hearyng. 
I went yt had ben the gentylwomans blowynge! 
But yt is not so, as I now suppose, 
For womens hornes sounde more in a mannys nose. zo 
Gentylman. Stande ye mery, my frendes, everychone. 
3lery-reporte. Say that to me and let the rest alone! 
Syr, ye be welcome, and ail your meyny. 
Gentylman. Now, in good sooth, my frende, god a mercy ! 
And syns that I mete the here thus by chaunce, 25 
I shall requyre the of further acqueyntaunce, 
And brevely to shew the, this is the mater. 
I corne to sew to the great god Jupyter 
For helpe of thynges concernynge my recreacyon, 
Accordynge to his late proclamacyon. 
21,[ery-reporte. Mary, and I am he that this must spede. 
But fyrste tell me what be ye in dede. 
Gentylman. Forsoth, good frende, I am a gentylman. 
Iklery-reporte. A goodly occupacyon, by seynt Anne! 
On my fayth, your maship  hath a mery. life. 235 
But who maketh ail these hornes, your self or your wife ? 
Nay, even in earnest, I aske vou this questyon. 
Gentrlman. Now, by my trouth, thou art a mery one. 
lery-reporte. In fayth, of us both I thynke never one sad, 
For I am not so merv but ye seme as mad ! 4o 
But stande ye stvll and take a lyttell payne, 
I wyll come to you, by and by, agayne. 
Now, gracyous god, yf your wyll so be, 
I pray ye, let me speke a worde wyth ye 
7up).ter. Mv sonne, say on ! Let us here thy mynde z45 
llleui-reporte. Mv lord, there standeth a sewter even here behynde, 
A Gentylmn, in yonder corner, 
1 Have given notice to the petitiners to appear. The ' cry ' is supposed to have been ruade 
outsie, a mastership. 



e Pay of te ff.eter 9 

And, as I thynke, his name is Mayster Horner 
A hunter he is, and cometh to make ),ou sporte. 
He woide hunte a sow or twayne out of thys sorte. 1 250 
Here he poynteth to the women. 
upyter. W'hat so ever his mynde be, let hym appere. 
#lery-reporte. Now, good mayster Horner, I pray you corne nere. 
Gentylman. I ara no horner, knave! I wyll thou know yt. 
lery-reporte. I thought ye had [been], for when ye dyd blow yt, 
Harde I never horeson make home so goo. 255 
As lefe ye kyste myne ars as blow my hole soo[ 
Corne on your way, before the God Jupyter, 
And there for ¥our selfe ye shall be sewter. 
Gentylman. Most myghty prynce and god of every nacyon, 
Pleaseth your hyghnes to vouchsave the herynge 260 
Of me, whyche, accordynge to [y]our proclamacyon, B i b 
Doth make apparaunce, in way of besechynge, 
Not sole for myself, but generally 
For ail corne of noble and auncyent stock, 
Whych sorte above ail doth most thankfully 265 
Dayly take payne for welth of the comen flocke, 
With dylygent study alway devysynge 
To kepe them in order and unyte, 
In peace to labour the encrees of theyr lyvynge, 
Wherby eche man may prosper in plente. 27o 
Wherfore, good god, this is our hole desyrynge, 
That for ease of out paynes, at tymes vacaunt, 
In out recreacyon, whyche chyefely is huntynge, 
It may please you to sende us wether pleasaunt, 
Drye and hOt mysty, the wynde Calme and styll. 275 
That after out houndes yournynge « so meryly, 
Chasynge the dere over dale and hyll, 
In herynge we may folow and to-comfort the cry. 
upyter. Ryght well we do perceyve your hole request, 
Whyche shall hOt fayle to reste in memory, 280 
Wherfore we wyll ye set your-selfe at test, 
I the udlen._  journeyin$. 



3 ° The P/ay of the lloeether 

Tyll we bave herde eche man indyfferently, 
And we shall take suche order, unyversally, 
As best may stande to out honour infynyte, 
For welth in commune and ech mannys synguler profyte. 285 
Gentylman. In heven and verth honoured be the name 
Of Jupyter, who of his godlv goodnes 
Hath set this mater in so goodly frame, 
That every wyght shall bave his desyre, doutles. 
And fyrst for us noble and gentylmen, 290 
I doute hOt, in his wysedome, to provyde 
Suche wether as in our huntynge, now and then, 
Ve mav both teyse 1 and receyve 2 on every syde. 
.Vhvché thynge, ones had, for out seyd recreacyon, 
Shal'l greatly prevayle  you in preferrynge our helth 295 
For what thynge more nedefull then our preservacyon, 
Beynge the weale and heddes of ail comen welth ? 
«lI«o,-reporte. Now I besech your mashyp, whose hed be you ? 
Gentylman. .Vhose hed am I ? Thy hed. ,Vhat seyst thou now ? 
/l[«ry-reporte. Nay, I thynke yt very trew, so god me helpe ! 3oo 
For I have ever bene, of a lyttell whelpe, B il 
So full of fansyes, and in so many fyttes, 
So manv smale reasons, and in so many wyttes, 
That, even as I stande, I pray God I be dede, 
If ever I thought them ail mete for one hede. 3o5 
But svns I have one hed more then I knew, 
Blame hot my rejoycynge,--I love ail thinges new. 
And suer it is a treasour of heddes to have store : 
One feate can I now that I never coude before. 
Gentrlman. .Vhat is that ? 
lery-reporte. By god, svns ve came hyther, 3to 
I can set mv hedde and my tayle togyther. 
This hed shall save mony, by Savnt Mary, 
From hensforth I wvll no potycary; 
For at al tymys, whén suche thynges shall myster 
My new hed shall geve myne olde tavle a glyster.  3t5 
And, after ail this, then shall my hedle wayte 
1 rouse the gaine.  call off after a kill,  avail. " -_lyster, purge. 



Te P]ay of te leter 3 

Uppon my tayle and there stande at receyte. 
Syr, for the reste I wyll hOt now more you, 
But, yf we lyre, ye shall smell how I love yow. 
And, sir, touchyng your sewt here, depart, when it please you 
For be ye suer, as I can I wyll ease you. 32 I 
entylman. Then gyve me thy hande. That promyse I take. 
And yf for my sake any sewt thou do make, 
I promyse thy payne to be requyted 
More largely than now shall be recyted. 325 
il,lery-reporte. Alas, my necke[ Goddes pyty, where is my hed ? 
By Saynt Yve, I feare me I shall be deade. 
And yf I were, me-thvnke yt were no wonder, 
Syns my hed and my body is so farre asonder, 

Enlretb tbe MARCHAUNT. 

Mayster person, 1 now welcome by mv lire! 330 
I pray you, how doth my maistres, your wyfe ? 9. 
il,larchaunt. Syr, for the presthod and wyfe that ye alledge 
I se ye speke more of dotage then knowledge. 
But let pas, syr, I wolde to you be sewter 
To brynge me, yf ye can, before Jupiter. 335 
[le.-reporte.] Yes, Mary, can I, and wyll do yt in dede. 
Tary, and I shall make wey for your spede. [Goes to JvPrrER] 
In fayth, good lorde, yf it please your gracyous godshyp, 
I muste have a worde or twayne wyth your lordship.  ii b 
Syr, yonder is a nother man in place, 340 
Who maketh great sewt to speke wyth your grace. 
Your pleasure ones knowen, he commeth by and by. 3 
Ïupyter. Bryng hym before our presens, sone, hardely. 
llery-reporte. Why! where be you . shall I not fynde ye . 
Corne a-way, I pray god, the devyll blynde ye ! 34-5 
Marchaunt. Moste myghty prynce and lorde of lordes ail, 
Right humbly besecheth your majeste 
Your marchaunt-men thorow the worlde ail» 

I parson. 
2 As the play was written before t533, the clergy were still celibates, and this is only Mery. 
reporte's  humour.' 8 immediately. 



3z TAe P]a. of t]e l[/'etAer 

That yt may please you, of your benygnyte, 
In the dayly daunger of our goodes and lyfe, 350 
Fyrste to consyder the desert of out request, 
What welth we bryng the test, to out great care & stryfe, 
And then to rewarde u - a." ye shall thynke best. 
Vhat were the surplysage of eche commodyte, 
Whyche groweth and .-ncreaseth in every lande, 355 
Excepte exchaunge by suche men as we be ? 
By wey of entercours, that lyeth on our hande  
We fraught from home, thynges wherof there is plente ; 
And home we bynge such thynges as there be scant. 
Who sholde afore us marchauntes accompted be ? 36o 
For were hot we, the worlde shuld wyshe and want 
In many thynges, whych now shall lack rehersall. 
And, brevely to conclude, we beseche your hyghnes 
That of tbe benefyte proclaymed in generall 
We may be parte-takers, for comen encres, 365 
Stablyshynge wether thus, pleasynge your grace, 
Stormy, nor mysty, the wynde mesurable. 
That savely we may passe from place to place, 
Berynge our seylys for spede moste vayleable ; a 
And also the wynde to chaunge and to turne, 370 
Eest, West, North and South, as best may be set, 
In any one place hOt to longe to sojourne, 
For the length of our vyage may lese our market. 
upvter. Right well have ye sayde, and we accept yt so, 
And so shall we rewarde you ere we go hens. 375 
But ye muste take pacyens tyll we have harde mo 
That we may indyfferently gyve sentens. 
There may passe by us no spot of neglygence, 
But justely to judge eche thynge, so upryghte I iii 
That ech mans parte maye shyne in the selfe ryghte. 4 380 
lery-reDorte. Now, syr, by your fayth, yf ye shulde be sworne, 
Harde ye ever god speke so, syns ye were borne ? 
So wysely, so gentylly hys wordes be showd ! 
I Explained by ' thynges whrof therc is plent.' a heard more, or othcrs. 
 available.  in the saine righmess. 



TAe P/a.y of tAe IVet/er 33 

llarcbaunt. I thanke hys grace. My sewte is well bestowd. 
_/blery-reparte. Syr, what vyage entende ye nexte to go ? 385 
_/blarcbaunt. I truste or myd-lente to be to Syo. 1 
_/blery-reparte. Ha, ha! Is it your mynde to sayle at Syo ? 
Nay, then, when ye wyll, byr lady, ye maye go, 
And let me alone with thys. Be of good chere! 
Ye maye truste me at Syo as well as here. 39 ° 
For though ye were fro me a thousande myle space» 
I wolde do as myche as ye were here in place, 
For, syns that from hens it is so farre thyther, 
I care not though ye never corne agayne hyther. 
lhrarcbaunt. Syr, yf ye remember me, when tyme shall corne, 395 
Though I requyte not ail, I shall deserve some. 
Exeat MARCHAV'r. 
1ery-reporte. Now, farre ye well, & god thanke you, by saynt Anne, 
I pray you, marke the fasshyon of thys honeste manne; 
He putteth me in more truste, at thys metynge here, 
Then he shall fynde cause why, thys twenty yere. 400 

Here entreth the R,rcR. 

Ranger. God be here, now Cryst kepe thys company[ 
Iery-reporte. In fayth, ye be welcome, evyn very skantely! 
Syr, for your comynge what is the mater ? 
Ranger. I wolde fayne speke with the god Jupyter. 
]blery-reporte. That wyll not be, but ye may do thys-- 4<)5 
Tell me your mynde. I ara an offycer of hys. 
Ranger. Be ye so ? Mary, I crye you marcy. 
Your maystership may say I am homely. 
But syns your mynde is to have reportyd 
The cause wherfore I am now resortyd, 4xo 
Pleasyth your maystership it is so. 
I corne for my-selfe and suche other mo, 
Rangers and kepers of certayne places, 
As forestes, parkes, purlews and chasys 9 
Vhere we be chargyd with all maner game. 415 
I Scio (Chios). 
 Purlieus are technically the woods adjacent to a royal fore.st ; a chase is an unenclosed part. 
D 



34 Te P]ay af te lleter 

Smale in our profyte and great is our blame. 
Alas [ For our wages, what be we the nere ? 
X, Vhat is forty shyllynges, or fyve marke, a yere ? i iii  
Many tvmes and oft, where we be flyttynge, 
,Ve spende fortv pens a pece at a syttinge. 420 
Now for our vauntage, whvche chefely is wyndefale. 
That is ryght nought, there bloweth no wynde at ail, 
,Vhvche is the thynge wherin we fvnde most grefe 
Alid" cause for mv commynge to sew for relefe, 
That the god, o( pyty, al thys thynge knowynge, 425 
Mav sende us good rage of blustryng and blowynge, 
And, yf I can not get god to do some good, 
I wolde hver the devyll to runne thorow the wood, 
The rootes to turne up, the toppys to brynge under. 
A mischvefe upon them, and a wvlde thunder [ 430 
«ller,'-reporte. Verv well sayd, I set by" your charyte 
As mych, in a maner, as by your honeste. 
I shall set vou somwhat in ease anone. 
Ye shall putte on your cappe, when I am gone. 
For, I se, ve care not who wvn or lese, 435 
So ve mare fvnde meanys to wvn your fees. 
Ranger. "Syr, as in that, ye speke as it please ye. 
But let me speke with the god, yf it maye be. 
I pray you, lette me passe ve. 
«|Iery-reporte. XVhy, nay, syr[ l]y the masse, ye-- 44 ° 
Ranger. Then wvll I leve you evyn as I founde ye. 
lllery-reporte. Go" when ye wyll. No man here hath bounde ye. 
Here entretb tbe WA'rER M'..ER and tbe RAr¢CR gotb out. 
lI'ater ilIrller. XVhat the devvll shold skyl, 1 though ail the world 
were dum, 
Svns in ail our spekynge we never be harde ? 
,Ve crye out for rayne, the devyll sped drop wyll cum. 4-4-5 
,Ve water myllers be nothynge in regarde. 
No water have we to grynde at any stynt, 
The wynde is so stronge the ravne cannot rail, 
I What on earth would it mat'ter ? 



The P]ay of the l[oeether 35 

Whyche kepeth our myldams as drye as a fiynt. 
We are undone, we grynde nothynge at ail, 45 ° 
The greter is the pyte, as thynketh me. 
For what avayleth to eche man his corne» 
Tyll it be grounde by such men as we be ? 
There is the loss, yf we be forborne. 1 
For, touchynge our-selfes, we are but drudgys 455 
And very beggers save onely our tole, B iv 
Whiche is ryght smale and yet many grudges 
For gryste of a busshell to gyve a quarte bole. z 
Yet, were not reparacyons, we myght do wele. 
Our mylstons, our whele with ber kogges, & our trindill z 4.6o 
Our floodgate our mylpooll, our water whele» 
Our hopper, 4 our extre, 5 our yren spyndyll, 
In this and mych more so great is our charge, 
That we wolde not recke though no water ware» 
Save onely it toucheth eche man so large, 465 
And ech for our neyghbour Cryste byddeth us care. 
Wherfore my conscience hath prycked me hytheq 
In thys to sewe, accordynge to the cry,  
For plente of raine to the god Jupiter 
To whose presence I wyll go evyn boldely. 47 ° 
?14ery-reporte. Sir, I dowt nothynge your audacyte 
But I feare me ye lacke capacyte, 
For, yf ye were wyse, ye myghte well espye, 
How rudely ye erre from rewls of courtesye. 
What! ye corne in revelynge and reheytynge,r 475 
Evyn as a knave might go to a beare-beytynge ! 
l[/'ater Iyller. Ail you bere recorde what favour I bave! 
Herke, howe famylyerly he calleth me knave! 
Dowtles the gentylman is universall ! 
But marke thys lesson, syr. You shulde never call 480 
Your felow knave, nor your brother horeson ; 
For nought can ye get by it, when ye bave done. 

 dispensed with, missed. 
a To give two pounds of wheat for grinding slxty-four. 
 wheel. « feeàer of the mill. 

 axletree. 
¢ Jupiter's proclamation. 
"t maldng rejoice. 



3 6 The P]ay of the lloeether 

Iery-reporte. Thou arte nother brother nor felowe to me, 
For I ara goddes servaunt, mayst thou hOt se ? 
Volde ye presume to speke with the great god ? 485 
Nay, dyscrecyon and you be to farre od [ 1 
Bvr lady, these knaves must be tyed shorter3 
Si'r, who let you in ? Spake ye with the porter ? 
II'ater «|I¢ller. Nay, bv mv trouth, nor wyth no nother man. 
Yet I saw vou well, hen I fvrst began. 49 ° 
How be it, so helpe me god and holydam,  
I toke you but for a knave, as I ara. 
But, mary, now, syns I knowe what ye be, 
I muste and wyll obev your authorvte. 
And yf I maye hOt speke wyth Jupiter 495 
I beseche you be my solvcvter. I i, b 
llery-reporte. As in that, I wl'be vour well-wyller. 
I perceyve you be a water myiler. 
And your hole desyre, as I take the mater, 
Is plente of rayne for encres of water. 5oo 
The let wherof, ye affyrme determynately, 
Is onelv the wynde, your mortall enemy. 
lI'ater 2lvllér. Trouth it is, for it blowyth so alofte, 
XVe never bave rayne, or, at the most, hOt ofte. 
Vherfore, I praye you, put the god in mynde 50.5 
Clerely for ever to banysh the wynde. 

H«re entr¢th the WY'NDE MYLLER. 

ll',,nde Alrller. How ! Is ail the wether gone or I come? 
For the passyon of god, helpe me to some. 
I am a wynd-miller, as manv mo be. 
No wretch in wretchydnes so wrechvd as we! 
The hole sorte 4 of mv crafte be all nard at onys, 
The wynde is so weyke it sturrvth hot out stonys, 
Nor skantely can shatter 5 the shvttvn savle 
That hangeth shatterynge  at a womanstayle. 

5IO 

I too far at variance. 
 given legs freedom. 
8 the kingdom of saints. 

4 assembly. 
6 scatter, blow about. 
 flying apart. 



T/ e P /a.v of t / e lte t / e r 37 

The rayne never resteth, so longe be the showres, 5 I5 
From tyme of begynnyng tyl foure & twenty howres ; 
And, ende whan it shall, at nyght or at none, 
An-other begynneth as soone as that is done. 
Such revell of rayne ye knowe well inough, 
Destroyeth the wynde, be it never so rough, 520 
Wherby, syns our myllys be corne to styll standynge, 
Now maye we wynd-myllers go evyn to hangynge. 
A myller ! with a moryn 1 and a myschyefe ! 
Who wolde be a myller ? As good be a thefe[ 
Yet in tyme past, when gryndynge was plente, 525 
Who were so lyke goddys felows as we ? 
As faste as god made corne, we myllers ruade meale. 
Whyche myght be best forborne - for comvn weale ? 
But let that gere passe, for I feare our pryde 
Is cause of the care whyche god doth us provyde. 530 
Wherfore I submvt me, entendynge to se 
What comforte may corne by humylyte. 
And, now, at thys tyme, they sayd in the crye, 
The god is corne downe to shape remedye. 
ll/lery-reporte. No doute, he is here, even in yonder trone, e 535 
But in your mater he trusteth me alone, 
Wherein, I do perceyve by your complaynte, 
Oppressyon of rayne doth make the wynde so faynte, 
That ye wynde-myllers be clene caste away. 
II'ynde lIyller. If Jupyter helpe hOt, yt is as ve say. 540 
But, in few wordes to tell you my mynde rounde, z 
Uppon this condycyon I wolde be bounde, 
Day by day to say our ladyes' sauter, 4 
That in this world were no drope of water, 
Nor never rayne, but wynde contynuall, 545 
Then shold we wynde myllers be lordes over ail. 
ll4ery-reporte. Corne on and assay how you twayne can agre-- 
A brother of yours, a myller as ye be! 
IFater glyller. By meane of our craft we mav be brothers, 

1 murrain, plague. 8 roundly, completely. 
 dispemed 'ith.  the psalms appointed for the Hours of the Blessed Virgin. 



3 8 Te P]av ortie l[reter 

But whyles we lyre shal we never be loyers. .550 
XVe be of one crafte, but not of one kynde, 
I lyre by water and he by the wynde. 
Here MER'-REPoR'r gotb out. 
And, syr, as ye desyre wynde continuall, 
So wolde I have ravne ever-more to fali, 
Vhvche two in experyence, ryght well ye se, 555 
Ryght selde, or never, to-gether can be. 
For as longe as the wynde rewleth, yt is playne 
"Fwentv to one ve get no drop of rayne ; 
And when the e]ement is to farre opprest, 
l)owne commeth the rayne and setteth the wynde at reste. 560 
Bv this, ve se, we can-not both obtayne. 
FEr ve must lacke wynde, or I must lacke rayne. 
XVherfore I thvnke good, before this audiens, 
Eche for our sélfe to say, or we go hens; 
And whom is thought weykest, when we bave fynysht, 565 
Leve of his sewt and content to be banysht. 
H'vnde «|ivller. In fayth, agreed ! but then, by your lycens 
Out mvlles for a tvme shall hange in suspens. 
Svns water and wynde is chyefely our sewt, 
,Vhvche best may be spared we woll fyrst dyspute. 57 ° 
,Vhérfore to the see mv" reason shall resorte, 
XVhere shyppes by meane of wv"nd trv" from port to porte, 
From lande to lande, in dystauce manv a myle,-- 
Great is the passage and smale is the whvle. 
So great is the profite, as to me doth seine, ci t, 575 
That no man's wvsdome the welth can exteme. 1 
And svns the wvde is convev"er of ail 
Vho but the w,nde shulde bave thanke above ail ? 
ater/klvller. Amvte z in this place a tree here to growe 
And therat th wvnde in great rage to blowe; 58o 
,Vhen it hath all'blowen, thvs is a clere case, 
The tre removeth no here-bîed z from hys place. 
No more wolde the shyppys, blow the best it cowde. 
 esteem.  adroit.  hair-breadth. 



Te Play ortie lieter 39 

float. 
sent. 

Ail though it wolde blow downe both mast & shrowde 
Except the shyppe flete I uppon the water 585 
The wynde can ryght nought do--a playne matter. 
Yet maye ye on water, wythout anv wynde 
Row forth your vessell where men wvll have her synde? 
Nothynge more rejoyceth the maryner, 
Then meane cooles  of wynde and plente of water. 59 ° 
For, commenly the cause of every wracke 
Is excesse of wynde where water doth lacke. 
1,1 rage of these stormys the perell is suche 
That better were no wynde then so farre to muche. 
I[/'ynde ll[¢ller. Well, yf my reason in thys may hOt stande, 595 
I wyll forsake the see and lepe to lande. 
In every chyrche where goddys servyce is, 
The organs beare brunt of halle the quere, 4 i-wys. 
Whyche causeth the sounde, of water or wynde ? 
More-over for wvnde thys thynge I fvnde 600 
For the most parte ail maner mynstrélsy, 
By wynde they delyver theyr sound chefly, 
Fyll me a bagpype of your water full, 
As swetely shall it sounde as it were stuffvd with wull. 
IVater gl[vller. On my favth I thynke the moone be at the full, 605 
For frantyke fansyes" be then most plentefull. 
Which are at the pryde of theyr sprynge in your 5 hed, 
So farre from our matter he 5 is now fled. 
As for the wynde in anv instrument» 
It is no percell of our argument, 6IO 
We spake of wynde that comvth naturally 
And that is wynde forcvd artyf.vcyally, 
Whyche is not to purpose. But, yf it were, 
And water, in dede, ryght nought coulde do there, 
Yet I thynke organs no suche commodyte, ° c il 6I 5 
Wherby the water shulde banyshed be. 
And for your bagpypes, I take them as nyfuls,  
Your mater is ail in fansyes and tryfuls. 
s moderate cool breezes.  Sic in ail editions.  lndistinguishable from tfifloE 
 choir, e of hot sufficient advantage. 



4 ° The P]ay of the llUether 

II'ynde ]blvller. By god, but ye shall not tryfull me of 1 so! 
Yf these thynges serve not, I wyll reherse mo. 62o 
And now to mvnde there is one olde proverbe come, 
One bushell ol  marche dust is worth a kynges raunsome, 
XVhat is a hundreth thousande bushels worth than ? 
II'ater «|Irller. Not one myte, for the thynge selfe, to no man. 
II'vnde ,llrller. ,Vhy shall wvnde every-where thus be objecte? 625 
Nay, in the hve wayes he shall take effecte, 
.Vhere as theravne doth never good but hurt, 
For wvnde maketh but dust and water maketh durt. 
Powdr or syrop, syrs, whyche lycke ye best ? 
.Vho lvcketh not the tone maye lycke up the rest. 630 
But, sure, who-so-ever hath assaved such syppes, 
Had lever have dusty eyes then lurty lyppes. 
And it is savd, svns afore we were borne, 
That drought do'th never make derth of corne. 
And well it is knowen, to the most foole here, 635 
How ravne hath pryced corne within this vil. yeare.  
IP'ater Ir//e. Syr, I pray the, spare me a lytyll season. 
And I shall brevely conclude the wyth reason. 
Put case on 8 somers dave wythout wynde to be, 
And ragyous wvnde in wynter dayes two or thre, 64 ° 
Mvch more shll dry that one calme daye in somer 
Tlen shall those thre wyndy dayes in wvnter. 
,Vhom shall we thanke for thys, when ail is done? 
The thanke to wvnde ? Nay ! Thanke chyefely the sone. 
And so for drought, yf corne therbv encres, 645 
The sone doth comfort and rype ail dowtles, 
And oft the wynde so leyth the corne, god wot, 
That never after can it type, but rot. 
Yf drought toke place as ye say, yet maye ye se, 

a off. 
 The earliest reference to a dearth of corn in the rdgn of Henry VIII. which I tan find in 
Holinshed is sub anno 15z3 when he states that the pfice in London was zo s. a quarter, but 
without assigning any cause. The reference here is, I think, clearly to the great tains of the 
autumn of  5z7 and Apfil and May,  5 z$, of which Holinshed writes that they  caused grtat 
floods and did much harme namelie in corne, so that the next yeare [15z$ ?] it failed withi.. 
the realme and great dearth ensued." a one. 



The Plaff of the lP'ether 4 

Lytell helpeth the wynde in thys commodyte. 65o 
But, now» syr I deny your pryncypyll. 
Yf drought ever were» it were impossybyll 
To have ony grayne» for, or it can grow» 
Ye must plow your lande» harrow and 
Whyche wyll hot be, except ye maye have rayne cii/, 655 
To temper the grounde, and after agayne 
For spryngynge and plumpyng ail maner corne 
Yet muste ye have water, or ail is forlorne. 
Yf ye take water for no commodyte 
Yet must ye take it for thynge of necessyte, 660 
For washynge, for skowrynge, ail fylth clensynge, 
Where water lacketh what bestely beynge ! 
In brewyng» in bakynge in dressynge of meate 
Yf .ve lacke water, what coulde ye drynke or eate 
Wythout water coulde lyre neyther man nor best, 665 
For water preservyth both moste and lest. 
For water coulde I say a thousande thynges mo, 
Savynge as now the tyme wyll hot serve so; 
And as for that wynde that you do sew fore 
Is good for your wynde-myll and for no more. 670 
Syr syth ail thys in experyence is tryde» 
I say thys mater standeth clere on my syde. 
l'ynde lIyller. Well, syns thys wyll hot serve, I wyll alledge the 
reste. 
Syr» for our myllys I saye myne is the beste. 
My wynd-myll shall grynd more corne in one our 675 
Then thï water-myll shall in thre or route» 
Ye more then thyne shulde in a hole yere 
Yf thou myghtest have as thou hast wyshyd here. 
For thou desyrest to have excesse of rayne 
Whych thyng to the were the worst thou couldyst obtayne. 680 
For, yf thou dydyst» it were a playne induccyon 1 
To make thyne owne desyer thyne owne destruccyon. 
For in excesse of rayne at any flood 
Your myllys must stande styll; they can do no good. 
I pre]]minar. 



42 

Te Plav of the l[/rether 

And whan the wynde doth blow the uttermost 685 
Our wvndmvlles walke a-marne in every cost. 
For, as we se the wynde in hvs estate, 
XVe moder  our-saylys after t'he saine rate. 
Syns out myllys grynde so farre faster then yours» 
And also they may grynde ail tymes and howrs, 690 
I sav we nede no water-mylles at ail, 
Forwvndmvlles be suffyc},ent to serve ail. 
H'ater .ll'lltr.- "hou spekest of ail and consvderest hOt halle! 
In boste of thy gryste thou art wyse as a calfe ! 
For, though above us your mylles grynde farre faster, c ai 695 
Vhat helpe to those from whome ye be torche farther ? 
And, of two sortes, yf the tone shold be cnserved 
I thvnke yt mete the moste nomber be served. 
In ales and weldes, where moste commodvte is, 
There is most people : ve must graunte me this. 700 
On hylles & downes, whvche partes are moste barayne, 
There muste be few ; yt can no mo sustavne. 
I darre well say, yf yt were tryed even now, 
That there is ten of us to one of you. 
And where shuld chyefely ail necessaryes be, 705 
But there as people are moste in plente ? 
More reason that you corne vii. ravie to myll 
Then ail we of the vale sholde cl.;me the hyll. 
If ravne came reasonable as I requyre yt, 
Ve holde of your wynde mylles have nede no whyt. 71o 

IEntretb MERY-REPORTE. 

l]/Iery-reparte. 
That ye have resoned even ynough and to much. 
I hard ail the wordes that ye both have hadde, 
So helpe me god, the knaves be more then madde ! 
Nother of them both that hath wvt nor grace, 
To perceyve that both mvllvs may serve in place. 
Betwene water and wynde here is no suche let, 
But eche mvll may bave tyme to use his let. 
1 moda-at% adjust. 

Stop, folysh knaves, for vour reasonynge is suche, 

715 



The Play of the IIether 43 

Whyche thynge I can tell by experyens ; 
For I have, of myne owne, not farre from hens 
In a corner to-gether a couple of myllys, 
Standynge in a marres 1 betweene two hyllys 
Not of inherytaunce, but by my wyfe; 
She is feofed in the tayle for terme of her lyfe 
The one for wynde, the other for water. 725 
And of them both, I thanke god, there standeth  nother; 
Fo G in a good hourbe yt spoken 
The water gate is no soner open 
But clap sayth the wyndmyll, even strayght behvnde! 
There is good spedde, the devyll and all they grynde ! 730 
But whether that the hopper be dusty, 
Or that the mylstonys be sumwhat rusty 
By the mas, the meale is myschevous musty 
And yf ye thynke my tale be not trusty, c 
I make ye trew promyse: come, when ye lyste, 735 
We shall fynde meane ye shall taste of the gryst. 
IFater lyller. The corne at receyte happely is not good. 
itery-reporte. There can be no sweeter, by the sweet roode 
Another thynge yet, whyche shall not be cloked, 
My watermyll many tvmes is choked. 740 
IFater Myller. So wyll she'be though ye shuld burste your bones, 
Except ye be perfyt in settynge your stones. 
Fere not the lydger, 8 beware your ronner. 
Yet this for the lydger, or ye have wonne her, 
Parchaunce your lydger doth lacke good peckyng. 745 
Mery-reporte. So sayth my wyfe, & that maketh all our checkyng. 
She wolde have the myll peckt, peckt, peckt, every day 
But, by god, myllers muste pecke when they may! 
$o oft have we peckt that our stones wax right thynne, 
And ail our other gere not worth a pyn, 75 ° 
For with peckynge and peckyng I bave so wrought, 
That I have peckt a good peckynge-yron to nought. 

1 morass.  stands st]ll. 
8 the fiat fixed stone (or bed st¢ne) over which the turnin ston% or runner moved. 
6 reviling. 



4¢ TAe Play of tAe IetAer 

How be yt, yf I stycke no better tyll her, 
My wyfe sayth she wyll have a new myller. 
But let yt passe! and now to out mater! 
I say my myllys lacke nother wynde nor water; 
No more do yours, as farre as nede doth requyre. 
But, syns ye can hot agree, I wyll desyre 
Jupyter to set you both in suche rest 
As to your welth and his honour may stande best. 
ll'ater A4vller. I praye you hertely remember me. 
II'ynde lyller. Let hot me be forgoten, I beseche ye. 

755 

760 

Both M'LLEaS goth forth. 

Iery-reporte. If I remember you hOt both alyke 
I wolde ye were over the eares in the dyke. 
Now be we ryd of two knaves atone chaunce. 
By saynte Thomas, yt is a knavyshe ryddaunce. 

765 

The GENTYLWOMAN entreth. 

Gentylwoman. Now, good god, what a foly is this ? 
Vhat sholde I do where so mych people is ? 
I know hot how to passe in to the god now. 
#lery-reporte. No, but ye know hov¢ he may passe into 
Gentylwoman. I pray you let me in at the backe syde. 
lery-reporte. Ye, shall I so, and your fore syde so wyde 
Nay hOt yet ; but syns ye love tobe alone, 
Ve tv¢ayne will into a corner anone. 
But fyrste, I pray you, corne your way hyther, 775 
And let us twayne chat a whyle to-gyther. 
Gentylwoman. Syr, as to you I have lyttell mater. 
My commynge is to speke wyth Jupiter. 
Mery-reporte. Stande ye styll a whyle, and I wyll go propre 
Whether that the god wyll be brought in love. 780 
My lorde, how nowe! loke uppe lustely ! 
Here is a derlynge corne, by saynt Antony. 
And yf yt be your pleasure to mary, 
Speke quyekly ; for she may hot tary. 



The Play of the l[/'ether 45 

In fayth, I thynke ye may wynne her anone; 785 
For she wolde speke with your lordshyp alone. 
upyter. Sonne, that is hot the thynge at this tyme ment. 
If her sewt concerne no cause of our hyther resorte, 
Sende her out of place; but yf she be bent 
To that purpose, heare ber and make us reporte. 790 
llery-reporte. I count women lost, yf we love them not well, 
For ye se god loveth them never a dele. 
Maystres ye can hot speake wyth the god. 
Gentylwoman. No ! why ? 
#lery-reporte. By my fayth, for his lordship is ryght besy. 
Wyth a pece of worke that nedes must be doone i 795 
Even now is he makyng of a new moone. 
He sayth your olde moones be so farre tasted, 1 
That ail the goodnes of them is wasted, 
Whyche of the great wete hath ben moste mater 
For olde moones be leake; 9- they can holde no water. 800 
But for this new mone, I durst lay my gowne, 
Except a few droppes at her goyng downe, 
Ye get no rayne tyll ber arysynge, 
Wythout yt nede, and then no mans devysynge 
Coulde wyshe the fashvon of rayne to be so good i 805 
Not gushynge out lyke" gutters of Noves flood, 
But small droppes sprynklyng softly on the grounde; 
Though they fell on a sponge they wold gyve no sounde. 
This new moone shall make a thing spryng more in this 
while 
Then a olde moone shal while a man may go a mlle. 81o 
By that tyme the god hath ail made an ende, c i,  
Ye shall se how the wether wyll amende. 
By saynt Anne, he goeth to worke even boldely. 
I thynke hym wyse ynough; for he loketh oldely[ 
Wherfore, maystres, be ye now of good chere  St 5 
For though in his presens ye can not appere, 
Tell me your mater and let me alone. 
Mayhappe I will thynke on you when you be gone. 
I decayed.  be leaky ; mispfinted bel),e by Kitson. 



4 6 The Pla.r of the lP'ether 

Gentylwoman. Forsoth, the cause of my commynge is this: 
I ara a woman right fayre, as ye se ; 82c 
In no creature more beauty then in me is ; 
And, syns I am fayre, fayre wolde I kepe me, 
But the sonne in somer so sore doth burne me 
In wynter the wynde on every side me. 
No parte of the yere wote I where to turne me 825 
But even in my bouse am I fayne to hyde me. 
And so do ail other that beuty bave ; 
In whose naine at this tyme, this sewt I make» 
Besechynge Jupyter to graunt that I crave ; 
,Vhyche is this, that yt may please hym, for our sake, 830 
To sende us wether close and temperate, 
No sonne-shyne, no frost, nor no wynde to blow. 
Then wolde we get 1 the stretes trym as a parate, z 
Ye shold se how we wolde set our-selfe to show. 
Jarery-reporte..let where ye wyll, I swere by savnt Qintyne, 835 
Ye passe them ail, both in your owne conceyt and myne. 
Gentylwoman. If we had wether to walke at our pleasure» 
Our lyves wolde be mery out of measure. 
One part of the day for our apparellynge 
Another parte for eatynge and drynkynge, 4.o 
And ail the reste in stretes to be walkynge, 
Or in the house to passe tyme with talkynge. 
jllery-reporte. When serve ye God ? 
Gentylwoman. Who bosteth in verrue are but dawesa 
llery-reporte. Ye do the better, namely syns there is no cause. 
How spende ye the nyght ? 
Gentylwoman. In daunsynge and syngynge 845 
Tyll mydnyght, and then fall to slepynge. 
llery-reporte. XVhy, swete herte, by your false fayth, can ye syng ? 
Gentylwoman. Nay, nay, but I love yt above ail thynge. 
«lier.r-reporte. Now, by mv" trouth, for the love that I owe you, D i 
You shall here whatpleasure I can shew vou. 85 ° 
One songe have I for you, suche as yt is, 
And yf yt were better ye should have yt, by gys. 4 
1 orjet (1. $35), st'rut.  parrot. ¢ simpletons. 4 Jsus. 



The P]ay of the ltP'ether  

Gentylwoman. 
Mery-reporte. 

Gentylwoman. 

Mary, syr, I thanke you even hartely. 
Come on, syrsl but now let us synge lust [e]ly. 
Here they singe. 
Syr, this is well done; I hertely thanke you. 

Ye have done me pleasure, I make God avowe. 
Ones in a nyght I long for suche a fyt; 
For longe tyme have I bene brought up in yt. 
ll4ery-reporte. Oft tyme yt is sene, both in court and towne, 
Longe be women a bryngyng up & sone brought downe. 
So fet 1 yt is, so nete yt is, so nyse yt is, 
So trycke z yt is, so quycke yt is, so wyse yt is. 
I fere my self, excepte I may entreat her, 
I am so farre in love I shall forger her. 
Now, good maystres, I pray you, let me kys ye-- 
Gentylwoman. Kys me, quoth a ! Why, nay, syr, I wys ye. 
AIery-reporte. What ! yes, hardely [ Kys me ons and no more. 
I never desyred to kys you before. 

855 

860 

865 

Here the L^or»Ert cometh in. 

Launder. Why ! have ye alway kyst her behynde ? 
In fayth, good inough, yf yt be your mynde. 87o 
And yf your appetyte serve you so to do, 
Byr lady, I wolde ye had kyst myne ars to ! 
ll,Iery-reporte. To whom dost thou speake, foule hore ? canst thou tell ? 
Launder. Nay, by my trouth ! I, syr, not very well ! 
But by conjecture this ges 8 I bave, 875 
That I do speke to an olde baudy knave. 
I saw you dally with your symper de cokket 4 
I rede you beware she pyck not your pokket. 
Such ydyll huswyfes do now and than 
Thynke all well wonne that they pyck from a man. 880 
Yet such of some men shall have more favour, 
Then we, that for them dayly toyle and labour. 
But I trust the god wyll be so indyff'erent 
That she shall fayle some parte of her entent. 
 trim.  ,mart.  guess.  Mlle. Simper de Coquette. 



4 8 The Play of the kUether 

Mery-reporte. No dout he wyll deale so gracyously 885 
That all folke shall be served indylkirently. 
How be yt, I tell the trewth, my offyce is suche 
That I muste reporte eche sewt, lyttell or muche. 
Wherfore, wyth the god syns thou canst hOt speke, 
Trust me wyth thy sewt, I wyll hOt fayle yt to breke. 1 89o 
Launder. Then leave hOt to muche to yonder gyglet, z 
For her desyre contrary to myne is set. 
I herde by ber tale she wolde banyshe the sonne, 
And then were we pore launders all undonne. 
Excepte the sonne shyne that our clothes may dry, 895 
Ve can do ryght nought in our laundrye. 
An other maner losse, yf we sholde mys, 
Then of suche nycebyceters a as she is. 
Gentylwoman. I thynke yt better that thou envy me, 
Then I sholde stande at rewarde4 of thy pytte. 9oo 
Itis the guyse of such grose quenes as thou art 
With such as I ara evermore to thwart. 
Bv cause that no beauty ye can obtayne 
Therfore ye have us that be fayre in dysdayne. 
Launder. When I was as yonge as thou art now, 9o5 
I was wythin lyttel as fayre as thou, 
And so myght have kept me, yf I hadde wolde, 
And as derely my youth I myght have solde 
As the tryckest and fayrest of you ail. 
But I feared parels  that after myght fall, 9io 
Wherfore some busynes I dyd me provyde, 
Lest vyce myght enter on every syde, 
Whyche hath fre entre where ydelnesse doth reyne. 
It is not thy beauty that I dysdeyne, 
But thyne ydyll lyfe that thou hast rehersed, 915 
Whych any good womans hert wolde have perced. 
For I perceyve in daunsynge and syngynge, 
cornmunicate, a wanton. 
Cf. note on Rolster Dolsttr, I. iv. 
rourrayng yrra :"" lOUgL ¢i¢ : « Wihh 
l:liigel as a contraction of 17escio OEuid dicitur  Mistrms « Wht's-her-name.' Gen. Ed. 
At regard» Le. as flac obj¢ct of. 



The Pla.y of the IVether 49 

In eatyng and drynkynge and thyne apparellynge, 
Is ail the joye, wherin thy herte is set. 
But nought of ail this doth thyne owne labour get ; 92o 
For, haddest thou nothyng but of thyne owne travayle, 
Thou myghtest go as naked as my nayle. 
Me thynke thou shuldest abhorre suche ydylnes 
And passe thy tyme in some honest besynes i 
Better to lese some parte of thy beaute, 925 
Then so ofte to jeoberd all thyne honeste. 
But I thynke, rather then thou woldest so do, Dii 
Thou haddest lever have us lyre ydylly to. 
And so, no doute, we shulde, yf thou myghtest have 
The clere sone banysht, as thou dost crave: 930 
Then were we launders marde and unto the 
Thyne owne request were smale commodyte. 
For of these twayne I thynke yt farre better 
Thy face were sone-burned, and thy clothis the swetter, 1 
Then that the sonne from shynynge sholde be smytten, 935 
To kepe thy face fayre and thy smocke beshytten. 
Syr, howe lycke ye my reason in her case ? 
Mery-reporte. Such a raylynge hore, by the holy mas, 
I never herde, in all my lyfe, tyll ,:ow. 
In dede I love ryght well the ton of you, 940 
But, or I wolde kepe you both, by goddes mother, 
The devyll shall have the tone to fet z the tother. 
£aunder. Promyse me to speke that the sone may shyne bryght, 
And I wyll be gone quyckly for all nyght. 
ll4ery-reporte. Get you both hens, I pray you hartely ; 945 
Your sewtes I perceyve and wyll reporte them trewly 
Unto Jupyter, at the next leysure, 
And in the same desyre, to know his pleasure ; 
Whyche knowledge hadde, even as he doth show yt, 
Feare ye hOt, tyme enough, ye shall know it. 95 ° 
Gentylwoman. Syr, yf ye medyll, remember me fyrste. 
Launder. Then in this medlynge my parte shal be the wurst. 
ll4ery-reporte. Now, I beseche our lorde, the devyll the a burst. 
I sweeter.  fetch, a thee. 



So Te P]ay of te lleter 

Who medlyth wyth many I hold hym accurst, 
Thou hore, can I medyl wyth you both at ones. 

H«re tbe GEN'rYLwoMAN gotb fortb. 

955 

I In Tbe Play of Loe, Heywood writes of "bybbyU babbyU, dyt'ter c.huer." 
 hospital, lazar-house, a rubbing. 

Launder. By the mas, knave, I wold I had both thy stones 
In my purs, yf thou medyl not indyfferently, 
That both our maters in yssew may be lyckly. 
Iery-reporte. Many wordes lyttell mater and to no purpose 
Suche is the effect that thou dost dysclose, 960 
The more ye byb 1 the more ye babyll, 
The more ye babyll the more ye fabyll, 
The more ye fabyll the more unstabyll, 
The more unstabyll the more unabyll, 
In any maner thynge to do any good. 965 
No hurt though ye were hanged, by the holy rood ! D ii b 
Launder. The les your sylence, the lesse your credence, 
The les your credens the les your honeste, 
The les your honeste the les your assystens, 
The les your assvstens the les abylyte 97 ° 
In you to do ouht. ,Vherfore, so god me save, 
No hurte in hangynge such a raylynge knave. 
Iery-reporte. ,Vhat monster is this ? I never harde none suche. 
For loke how torche more I have made her to myche, 
And so farre, atlest, she hath ruade me to lyttell. 975 
Wher be ye Launder ? I thynke in some spytell. 2 
Ye shall washe me no gere, for feare of fretynge a 
I love no launders that shrvnke my gere in wettynge, 
I praye the go hens, and let me be in test. 
I wyll do thyne erand as I thynke best. 980 
Launder. Now wolde I take mv leve, yf I wyste how. 
The lenger I lvve the more knave you. 
¢'k_ferv-reporte. The ienger thou lyvest the pyte the gretter» 
The soner thou be ryd the tydynges the better ! 
Is not this a swete offvce that I have, 985 
When every drab shal'l prove me a knave ? 



'/e Play of t/e ltPet/er 5  

Every man knoweth not what goddes servyce is» 
Nor I my selfe knewe yt not before this. 
I thynke goddes servauntes may lyre holyly, 
But the devyls servauntes lyre more meryly. 99 ° 
I know not what god geveth in standynge fees» 
But the devyls servaunts have casweltees 1 
A hundred tymes mo then goddes servauntes have. 
For, though ye be never so starke a knave, 
If ye lacke money the devyll wyll do no wurse 995 
But brynge ),ou strayght to a-nother mans purse. 
Then wyll the devyll promote you here in this world, 
As unto suche ryche yt doth moste accord. 
Fyrste pater noster qui es in celis, 
And then ye shall sens  the shryfe wyth your helys. IOOO 
The greatest frende ye have in felde or towne, 
Standynge a-typ-to, shall not reche your crowne. 

The Boï cometb in, tbe lest tbat tan play. 

Boy. This same is even he, by al lycklyhod. 
Syr, I pray you, be not you master god ? 
gl4ery-reporte. No, in good fayth, sonne. But I may say to the 
I am suche a man that god may not mysse me. D iii 1OO6 
Wherfore with the god yf thou wouldest have ought done 
Tell me thy mynde, and I shall shew yt sone. 
Boy. Forsothe, syr, my mynde is thys, at few wordes, 
Ail my pleasure is in catchynge of byrdes, IoIo 
And makynge of snow-ballys and throwyng the same ; 
For the whyche purpose to have set in frame, 3 
Wyth my godfather god I wolde fayne bave spoken, 
Desyrynge hvm to have sent me by some token 
Where I myghte bave had great frost for my pytfallys, lol 5 
And plente of snow to make my snow-ballys. 
This onys 4 had, boyes lyvis be such as no man leddys. 
O, to se my snow ballys lyght on my felowes heddys, 

casualtles, chance perqulsites. 
swing to and fro with your heels before the aheriff» as a censer is swung by a thurifer. 
made arrangements.  once. 



5- The Pla of the llether 

And to here the byrdes how they flycker theyr wynges 
In the pytfale ! I say yt passeth ail thynges. IO20 
Syr, yf ye be goddes servaunt, or his kynsman 
I pray you helpe me in this yf ye can. 
/1/Iery-reporte. Alas, pote boy, who sent the hether i  
Boy. A hundred boys that stode to-gether 
Where they herde one say in a cry 1025 
That my godfather, god almighty, 
Was corne from heven, by his owne accorde 
This nyght to suppe here wyth my lorde,  
And farther he sayde, corne whos [o]  wull, 
They shall sure have theyr bellyes full 1030 
Of ail wethers who lyste to crave, 
Eche sorte suche wether as they lyste to have. 
And when my felowes thought this wolde be had 
And saw me so prety a pratelynge lad, 
Uppon agrement, wyth a great noys, 1035 
« Sende lyttell Dycke," cryed al the boys. 
By whose assent I ara purveyd a 
To sew for the wether afore seyd. 
Wherin I pray you to be good, as thus, 
To helpe that god may geve yt us. x04o 
Iery-reporte. Gyve boyes wether, quoth a ! nonny, 4 nonny ! 
Boy. Yf god of his wether wyll gyve nonny, 
I pray you, wyll he sell ony ? 
Or lend us a bushell of snow, or twayne, 
And poynt us a day to pay hym agayne ? I045 
ll/lery-reporte. I can not tell, for, by thys light, o iii b 
I chept  hOt, nor borowed, none of hym this nlght. 
But by suche shyfte as I wyll make 
Thou shake se soone what waye he wyll take. 

I Cardinal Wolsey suggests l'fimself as the peroen most likdy tobe thus referred to, but if the 
reference of 1. 636 is to the excessive rain of 15zT-z$ Wolsey's disgrace followed it rathe 
too closely for the phrase *'wit}fin this seven yere." 
z Rastell ed.» « whose.' 
a provided. 
 Usually a mere exclamation» but her¢ apparendy as if from non» hot. 
 brKinl for. 



The Play of the IVether 5 3 

Boy. Syr, I thanke you. Then I may departe, io5o 
Tbe Bo. gotb fortb. 
Moy-reporte. Ye, fare well, good sonne, wyth ail my harte, 
Now suche an other sorte * as here bath bene 
In ail the dayes of my lyfe I bave hot sene. 
No sewters now but women, knavys, and boys» 
And ail theyr sewtys are in fansyes and toys. 1o55 
Yf that there corne no wyser after thys cry 
I wyll to the god and make an ende quyckely. 
Oyes, 9 yf that any knave here 
Be wyllynge to appere, 
For wether fowle or clere, lO6O 
Come in before thys flocke 
And be he hole or syckly, 
Corne, shew hys mynde quyckly, 
And yf hys tale be hot lyckly  
Ye shall lycke my tayle in the nocke. o6 5 
Ail thys tyme I perceyve is spent in wast, 
To wayte for mo sewters I se none make hast. 
Wherfore I wyll shew the god ail thys procys 
And be delyvered of my symple  offys. 
Now, lorde, accordynge to your commaundement, Io7o 
Attendynge sewters I have ben dylygent, 
And, at begynnyng as your wyll was I sholde, 
I corne now at ende to shewe what eche man wolde. 
The fyrst sewter before vour selfe dyd appere, 
A gentylman desyrynge wether clere, xo75 
Clowdy nor mysty, nor no wynde to blowe, 
For hune in hys huntynge; and then, as ye know, 
The marchaunt sewde, for all of that kynde, 
For wether clere and mesurable wynde 
As they mare best bere theyr saylys to make spede, xo8o 
And streyglît after thys there came to me, in dede, 
An other man who namyd hym-selfe a ranger, 
And sayd ail of hys crafte be farre brought in daunger, 
1 assembhge.  oy» hearken, a likely, t foolish. 



54 

The Pla.y of the llrether 

For lacke of lyvynge, whyche chefely ys wynde-fall. 
But he playnely sayth there bloweth no wynde at al, D iv 1085 
Wherfore he desyreth, for encrease of theyr fleesys, 1 
Extreme rage of wynde, trees to tere in peces. 
Then came a water-myller and he cryed out 
For water and sayde the wynde was so stout 
The rayne could not fale, wherfore he made request lO9O 
For plenty of rayne, to set the wynde at rest. 
And then, syr, there came a wynde myller in, 
Who sayde for the rayne he could no wynde wyn, 
The water he wysht to be banysht ail, 
Besechynge your grace of wynde contynuall, lO95 
Then came there an other that wolde banysh ail this 
A goodly dame, an ydyll thynge iwys. 
Wynde, rayne, nor froste, nor sonshyne, wold she have, 
But fayre close wether, her beautve to save. 
Then came there a-nother that l);veth by laundry, I IOO 
Who muste have wether hote & clere here clothys to dry. 
Then came there a boy for froste and snow contynuall, 
Snow to make snow ballys and frost for his pytfale, 
For whyche, god wote, he seweth full gredely. 
Your fyrst man wold have wether clere and not wyndy ; x xo 5 
The seconde the same, save cooles 9. to blow meanly ; 
The thyrd desyred stormes and wynde moste extremely; 
The fourth ail in water and wolde have no wynde; 
The fyft no water, but al wynde to grynde; 
The syxt wold have none of ail these, nor no bright son ; I 1 I0 
The seventh extremely the hote son wold have wonne ; 
The eyght, and the last, for frost & show he prayd. 
Byr lady, we shall take shame, I am a-frayd ! 
Who marketh in what maner this sort is led 
May thynke yt impossyble ail to be sped. I 115 
This nomber is smale, there lacketh twavne of ten, 
And yet, by the masse, amonge ten thousand men 
No one thynge could stande more wyde from the totherl 
Not one of theyr sewtes agreeth wyth an other. 
1 plunder.  Cf. 1. 590, " m¢ane ¢ooles," 



The Pla.y of the l¢ether 55 

I promyse you, here is a shrewed pece of warke. 
This gere wyll trye wether ye be a clarke. 
Yf ye trust to me» yt is a great foly 
For yt passeth my braynes» by goddes body 
upyter. Son, thou baste ben dylygent and done so well 
That thy labour is ryght myche thanke-worthy. D iv b I I 2 5 
But be thou suer we nede no whyt thy counsell» 
For in ourselfe we bave foresene rem«dy» 
Whyche thou sha]t se. But fyrste d«parte hence quyckly 
To the gentylman and ail other sewters here 
And commaunde them ail before us to appere. 113o 
Mery-reporte. That shall be no longer in doynge 
Then I am in commynge and goynge. 
MERY-REPORTE gotb out. 
upyter. Suche debate as from above ye bave herde, 
Suche debate beneth amonge your selles ye se 
As longe as heddes from temperaunce be deferd, 
So longe the bodyes in dystemperaunce be, 
This perceyve ye ail, but none can helpe save we. 
But as we there have made peace concordantly, 
So woll we here now gyve you remedy. 
M£gY-gEPOgTE and al tbe ewter entreth. 
Mery-reporte. If I hadde caught them 14.o 
Or ever I raught I them, 
I wolde bave taught them 
To be nere me; 
Full dere bave I bought them, 
Lorde, so I sought them, x,4-5 
Yet bave I brought them 
Suche as they be. 
Gentylman. Pleaseth yt your majeste, lorde, so yt is, 
We, as your subjectes and humble sewters all 
Accordynge as we here your pleasure is, * 15 ° 
Are presyd  to your presens, beynge principall 
1 reached. 2 pressed, have hastened. 



5 6 

Te P/ay of te llether 

Hed and governour of ail in every place, 
Who joyeth not in your syght, no joy can have. 
Wherfore we ail commyt us to your grace 
As lorde of lordes us to peryshe or save. 
upyter. As longe as dyscrecyon so well doth you gyde 
Obedyently to use your dewte, 
Dout ye not we shall your savete provyde, 
Your grevys we have harde, wherfore we sent for ye 
To receyve answere, eche man in his degre, 
And fyrst to content most reason yt is, 
The fyrste man that sewde, wherfore marke ye this, 

xx55 

6o 

Oft shall ye have the wether clere and styll 
To hunt in for recompens of your payne. 
Also you marchauntes shall have myche your wyll. 
For oft-tymes, when no wynde on lande doth remayne, 
Yet on the see pleasaunt cooles you shall obtayne. 
And syns your huntynge maye rest in the nyght, 
Oft shall the wynde then ryse, and before daylyght 

D¥ 
116 5 

It shall ratyll downe the wood, in suche case x t TO 
That ail ye rangers the better lyre may; 
And ye water-myllers shall obtayne this grace 
Many tymes the rayne to fall in the valey, 
When at the selfe tymes on hyllys we shall purvey 
Fayre wether for your wyndmilles, with such coolys of 
wynde 
As in one instant both kyndes of mylles may grynde, t 7 6 

And for ye fayre women, that close wether wold have, 
We shall provyde that ye may sucyently 
Have tyme to walke in, and your beauty save ; 
And yet shall ye have, that lyveth by laundry, 
The hote sonne oft ynough your clothes to dry. 
Also ye, praty chylde, shall have both frost and snow, 
Now marke this conclusyon, we charge you arow.  

I180 

1 in order. 



The P]ay of t/e ll/'eter 57 

Myche better bave we now devysed for ye all 
Then ye all can perceve, or coude desyre. 1185 
Eche of you sewd to have contynuall 
Suche wether as his crafte onely doth requyre, 
Ail wethers in ail places yf men ail tymes myght hyer, 
Who could lyre by other ? what is this neglygens 
Us to atempt in suche inconvenyens. 1 I9O 

Now, on the tother syde, yf we had graunted 
The full of some one sewt and no mo, 
And from ail the rest the wether had forbyd, 
Yet who so hadde obtayned had wonne his owne wo. 
There is no one craft can preserve man so, 
But by other craftes, of necessyte, 
He muste have myche parte of his commodyte. 

Ail to serve at ones and one destroy a nother, 
Or ellys to serve one and destrov ail the rest, 
Nother wyll we do the tone nor the tother 
But serve as many, or as few, as we thynke best; 
And where, or what tyme, to serve moste or leste, 
The dyreccyon of that doutles shall stande 
Perpetually in the power of our hande. 

ix95 

Dvb 
1200 

Wherfore we wyll the hole worlde to attende 
Eche sorte on suche wether as for them doth fall, 
Now one, now other, as lyketh us to sende. 
Vho that hath yt, ply Iit, and suer we shall 
So gyde the wether in course to )'ou ail, 
That eche wyth other ye shall hole 9. remayne 
In pleasure and plentyfull welth, certayne. 

Gentylman. Blessed was the tyme wherin we were borne, 
Fyrst for the blysfull chaunce of your godly presens. 
Next for out sewt was there never man beforne 
That ever hrde so excellent a sentens 

1205 

1210 

1215 

1 U. 2 whole- 



8 e Play  te lleter 

As your grace hath gevyn to us ail arow, 
Wherin your hyghnes hath so bountyfully 
Dystrybuted my parte that your grace shall know, 
Your selle sooll 1 possessed of hertes of ail chyvalry. 
lZarchaunt. Lyke-wyse we marchauntes shall yeld us holy, 9 122o 
Onely to laude the name of Jupyter 
As god of ail goddes, you to serve soolly ; 
For of every thynge, I se, you are norysher. 
Ranger. No dout yt is so, for so we now fynde ; 
Wherin your grace us rangers so doth bynde, 1225 
That we shall gyve you our hertes with one accorde, 
For knowledge to know you as out onely lorde. 
II'ater Irller. ,Vell, I can no more, but " for out water 
,Ve shall geve your lordshyp our ladyes sauter." 
lI'ynde Alvller. Mvche bave ye bounde us; for, as I be saved, 
XVe have ail obteyned better then we craved. 231 
Gentrlwoman. That is trew, wherfore your grace shal trewly 
The hertes of such as I am have surely. 
Launder. And suche as I am, who be as good as you, 
His hyghness shall be suer on, I make a vow. a 1235 
Boy. Godfather god, I wyll do somewhat for you agayne. D i 
Bv Cryste, ye mave happe to have a byrd or twayne, 
And I promyse you, yf any snow corne, 
,Vhen I make my snow ballys ye shall have some. 
lI'lery-reporte. God thanke your lordshyp. Lo, how this is brought 
to pas ! 1 4o 
Syr, now shall ye have the wether even as yt was. 

tupyter. We nede no whyte our selle any farther to bost, 
For our dedes declare us apparauntly. 
Not onely here on yerth, in everv cost, 
But also above in the hevynly company, 
Out prudens hath ruade peace unyversally, 
Wh'¢che thynge we sey, recordeth us as pryn.cypall 
God and governour of heven, yerth, and ail. 

 olely. a wholly, s St. John's ¢opy end 



e P]ay of te lteter 50 

Now unto that heven we woll make retourne» 
When we be gloryfyed most tryumphantly, 
Aiso we woil ail ye that on yerth so.journe, 
Syns cause gyveth cause to knowe us your lord onely, 
And nowe here to synge moste joyfully, 
Rejoycynge in us, and in meane tyme we shall 
Ascende imo out trone celestyall. 

s255 

FINIS. 

Pfinted by W. Rastell. 
z533. 
Eu,,, l,'i,ilegio. 



JOHAN JOHAN 

Previous Editions and the Present Text.  An edition of" A Mery 
Play between Johan Johan, the Husbande, Tyb, his ,Vyfe and Syr 
Jhan, the Preest, attributed to .John Heywood 1533," 1 was printed 
at the Chiswick lress by C[harles] ,Vhittingham " from an unique 
copy in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford," some time in the first 
half of the present century. 2 "Fhe anonymous editor prefaces it 
with the following brief" advertisement" : -- 
',This is one of the six Plays attributed by our dramatic biographers to 
John Heyvood, author of Tbe Four P' (contained in Dodsley's collection ), 
of ' the Spider and Flie,' and of some other poems, an account of wh]ch 
may be found in the Third Volume of Warton's History of English Poetry. 
No copy of this Mery Play appears to exist except that in the Ashmolean 
Museum at Oxford, from which this is a faithful reprint. Exclusive of its 
antiquity and rarity, it is valuable as affording a specimen of the earliest and 
rudest form of out Comedy (for the Poem is shorter, & the number of the 
Dramatis Personoe yet fewer than those of the Four P's) & of the liberty 
with which even the Roman Catholic authors of that age felt themselves 
authorized to treat the established priesthood." 
The Ashmolean copy (now in the Bodleian Library) can no longer 
be reckoned unique, another copy having been discovered in the 
Pepys collection at Magdalene College, Cambridge. This copy bas 
been used in correcting the Chiswick Press text, and it mav be as 
well to mention that the following changes, besides a good many 
minor ones, bave been ruade on its authority, and are hot surrepti- 
tious emendations of the present editor. 
I Sec Critical Essay, pp. o, 4-- 
 My own ¢opy bas beneath the initiais of a former owner the date " Match zz, 813 " i 
that in the British Museum is assigned to 83o. I have seen it stated, but I know hOt ou 
what authority» that the book appeared in  8  9- 



6z ohan ohan 

1. 4, mythe t'or touche; 1. 27, 14"ban t'or 14byn ; I. 3 x , thoak for toah ; 
1. 89, enrage for engage ; 1.94, But for Tbou ; 1.  z , tbou for you ; 1.  29, 
lrk for syk; 1. 132 , to go for go; 1. *37, farefor faœee; 1. 305, oaxefor 
ware; 1. 335, for 1 for I; 1. 47', T'e for le; 1. 497, mycb for muth; 
1. 540, beyond for beand; 1. 542» a bevy for bevy; 1. 552, beyond for 
yand; 1. 81, vfor ix; 1. 604, l amfor am L 

In the apportionment of 11. 24o-266 between the two speakers 
my predecessor like myself though hOt in the saine manner has 
departed from Rastell's (clearly erroneous) arrangement of the 
speeches, but his dislike of footnotes has caused him to omit any 
mention of the fact. The title-page is a representation, hOt afac- 
simile. There is no running head-line in the original. 

ALFREDW. POLLARD. 



]rtrnr oba oban 



A Mery Play, 

betwene 
JOlaAN JOIaAN, the husbande. 
& 
SVR JA, the preest 

Tv, his wyfe, 

jon^ Jon^r, tbe Huskande. 
God spede you, maysters, everychone, 
Wote ye hot whyther my wyfe is gone 
I pray God the dvvell take her, 
For ail that I do ] can hot make her, 
But she wyll go a gaddynge very myche 
Lyke an Antony pyg 1 with an olde wyche, 
Whiche ledeth her about hyther and thvther 
But, by our lady, I wote not whyther. 
But, by goggis u blod, were she come home 
Unto this InV house, by our lady of Crome, 
I wolde bete her or that I drynke. 
Bete her, quotha ? yea, that she shall stynke[ 
And at everv stroke lay her on the grounde, 
And trayne  her by the here 5 about the house rounde. 
I am evyn mad that I bete her not nowe, 1 5 
But I shall rewarde her, hard [e] ly,  well ynowe; 
1 The Nev Eng. Dict. quotes from Fuller's Igrrtbie$ : « St. Anthonie is notoriously known 
for the patron ofhogs, having a pig for his page in ail pictures.'" e God's. 
8 There are three Croomes in the manor of Ripple I Vorcestershire, and the church of 
Ripple is dedicated to the B. Virgin, but Nash's Historav of lgorcestersbire says nothing of "Out 
Lady of Crome."  drag. li hair. 6 assuredly i text  hardly.' 
r 6 5 



There is never a wyfe betwene heven and hell 
Whiche was ever beten halfe so well. 
Beten, quotha ? yea, but what and she therof dye ? 
Then I mav chaunce to be hanged shortly. 
And whan l have beten her tyll she smoke, 
And gyven her many a c. 1 stroke, 
Thynke ye that she wyll amende yet ? 
Nay, by our lady, the devyll spede whyt!  
Therfore I wyll not bete her at ail. 
And shall I hOt bete her? no shall ? 
Whan she offendeth and doth a-mys, 
And kepeth not her house, as her duetie is 
Shall I hOt bete her, if she do so ? 
Yes, bv. cokkis 4 blood, that shall I do; 30 
I shall bete her and thwak her, I trow, 
"-l'hat she shall beshyte the house for verv wo. 
But vet I thynk what my neybour wv'll sav than, 
He wvll sav thus: "SVhom chydest thu, Jhan Johan ? " 
" Mal:y," will I say! ' I chvde mv curst wyfe, 35 
The veryest drab that ever Iare lyre, 
SVhiche doth nothying but go and come, 
And I can not make her kepe her at home." 
Than I thvnke he wvll sav bv and bv, 5 
"XValke her cote, 6 Jhan Jolan, and bete her hardely." 40 
But than unto hvm mvn answere shal be, 
"The more I bete hel: the worse is she" 
And wors and wors make her I shall." 
He wvll say than, ,t bete her not at ail." 
" And ;hy ? " shall I say, "this wolde be wysqr 45 
Is she not myne to chastice as I lyst ? " 
But this is another poynt worst of ail, 
The folkis wyll mocke me whan they here me brall; s 
I hundred.  the devil a bit. 
 shall I not ? For this curious elliptical construction cf. 1. 64, «' And had ye no meate, 
]ohan Johan ? no had ? '" Sec also Udall's R. D., I. iv. 
 God's.  immediately. 
 dust ber jacket, beat ber. To walk = to full doth. 
 This question must be answered.  scold. 



ohan ohan 6 7 

But for ail that, shall I let 1 therfore 
To chastyce my wyfe ever the more, 
And to make her at home for to tary ? 
Is not that well done ? yes, by Saynt Mary 
That is a poynt 9. of an honest man 
For to bete his wvfe well nowe and than. 
Therfore I shall bete her, have ye no drede ! 
And I ought to bete her, tyll she be starke dede. 
And why ? by God, bicause it is my pleasure, 
And if I shulde suffre her, I make you sure, 
Nought shulde prevayle  me, nother staffe nor waster,« 
Within a whyle she wolde be my mayster. 
Therfore I shall bete her by cokkes mother, • 
Both on the tone syde and on the tother, 
Before and behynde; nought shall be ber bote,  
From the top of the heed to the sole of the fote. 
But, masters, for Goddis sake, do not entrete 
For he G whan that she shal be bete  
But, for Goddis passion, let me alone, 
And I shall thwak ber that she shall grone : 
Wherfore I beseche you, and hartely you pray, 
And I beseche you say me not nay, 
But that I may beate ber for this ones ; 
And I shall beate ber, by cokkes bones, 
That she shall stynke lyke a pole-kat ; 
But yet, by goggis body, that nede nat, 
For she wyll stynke without any betyng, 
For every nyght ones she gyveth me an hetyng ; 
From ber issueth suche a stynkyng smoke, 
That the savour therof almost doth me choke. 
But I shall bete ber nowe, without fayle i 
I shall bete ber toppe and tayle, 
Heed, shulders, armes, legges, and ail, 
I shall bete ber, I trowe that I shall; 
And, by goggis boddy, I tell you trewe, 
I shall bete ber tyll she be blacke and blewe. 
1 cease.  characteristic.  avail.  cudgel. 

Il remedy. 

50 

55 

6o 

65 

0 
A ii 

75 



68 o]mn o]an 

But where the dvvell trowe ye she is gon ? 85 
I holde a noble 1 sle is with Syr Jhn 
I fere I am begyled alway, 
But yet in faith I hope well nay ; 
Yet I almost enrage that I ne can 
Se the behavour of our gentylwoman. 9 ° 
And yet, I thynke, thvther as she doth go 
Many an honest wyfe" goth thyther also, 
For to make some pastvme and sporte. 
But than my wyfe so ofte doth thvther resorte 
That I fere she wyll make me weare a fether. 95 
But vet I nede not for to fere ncther, 
For he is ber gossyp, that is he. 
But abvde a whyle, yet let me se, 
Vhere the dyvell hath our gyssypry 
Mv wvfe had never chylde, daughter nor son. IOO 
Noe if I forbede ber that she go no more, 
Yet wvll she go as she dvd before, 
Or els'wyll she chuse some other place 
And then the matter is in as vil case. 
But in fayth ail these word'es be in wast, 
For I thynke the matter is donc and past; 
And whan she cometh home she wvll begyn to chyde, 
But she shall have ber payment stvk bv her svde 
For I shall order her, for ail her lrawlyng, 
That she shall repent to go a catter-wawlyng, a I I0 
[Ente," T,. 
Trb. .Vhy, whom wylt thou beate, I say, thou knave 
ohan. ,Vho, I, Tyb ? none, so God me save. 
Trb. Yes, I harde the say thou woldest one bete. 
ohan. Mary, wyfe, it was stokfvsshe a in Temmes Strete, 
XVhiche wvll be good meate agavnst Lent. 
XVhy, Ty6, what haddest thou thought that I had ment 

I wager 6s. Bd. Cf. Udall, R. D., I. iii. 
2 the relation ofa child's sponsors at bapdsm to his parents, a go a "love "'-maldng. 
 fish salted so hard that it had to  softened by beating belote cooking. 



.a]an .o]an 6 9 

Tyb. Mary, me thought I harde the bawlyng. 
Vilt thou never leve this wawlyng ? 1 
Howe the dyvell dost thou thy selfe behave ? 
Shall we ever have this worke, thou knave ? 12o 
ohan. What! wyfe, how sayst thou ? was it well gest of me 
That thou woldest be come home in safete, 
As sone as I had kendled a fyre ? 
Come warme the, swete Tyb, I the requyre. 
Tyb. O, Johan Johan, I am afrayd, by this lyght, I2 5 
That I shalbe sore syk this nyght. 
'ohan [aside]. By cokkis soule, nowe, I date lay a swan 
That she comes nowe streyght fro Syr Johan ; 
For ever whan she hath fatched of hym a lyk, 
Than she comes home, and sayth she is syk. z3o 
Tyb. What sayst thou ? 
'ohan. Mary, I say, 
It is mete for a woman to go play 
Abrode in the towne for an houre or two. 
Tyb. Well, gentylman, go to, go to. 
'ohan. Well, let us have no more debate. 135 
Tyb [aside]. If he do not fyght, chyde, and rate, 
Braule and fare as one that were frantyke, 
There is nothyng that may hym lyke. z 
'ohan [aside]. If that the parysshe preest, Syr Jhn, 
Dyd not se her nowe and than, 
And gyve her absolution upon a bed, 
For wo and payne she wolde sone be deed. 
Tyb. For goddis sake, Johan Johan, do the not displease, 
Many a tyme I am yll at ease. 
Vhat thynkest nowe, am not I somwhat svk ? 
'ohan [aside]. Nowe wolde to God, and swete Saynt Dyryk, a 

1 literally, cat-calling. 
 Tyb's ' aride' perhaps only means "if he is not scolding nothing can please him," i.e. he 
llkes scolding better than anything else. But T)b is at present half-afraid, and it is at least 
possible that she means " if I haven't set him scolding this rime, no occasion for being angry 
will content him. "ç 
a This saint is hot mentioned by the Bollandists i the name may be a contraction for one of 
the four St. Theodorics. 



7 ° .o,an .o,an 

That thou warte in the water up to the throte, 
Or in a burnyng oven red bote, 
To se an I wolde pull the out. 
Tyb. Nowe, Johan Johan, to put the out of dout, 
Imagyn thou where that I was 
Before I came home. 
oban. My percase, 1 
Thou wast prayenge in the Churche of Poules 
Upon thy knees for ail Chrysten soules. 
Tvb. Nay. 
ohan. Than if thou wast not so holy, I55 
Shewe me where thou wast, and make no 
Tyb. Truely, Johan Johan, we made a pye, 
I and my gossyp Margery, 
And our gossyp thc preest, Syr Jhn, a iii 
And mv neybours yongest doughter An; 
The preest payde for the stuffe and the makyng, 
And Margery she payde for the bakyng. 
'oban. Bv cokkis lylly woundis, - that same is she 
Tha is the most bawde hens to Coventre. 
Tvb. ,Vhat say you ? 
'ohan. Mary, answere me to this: 165 
Is hOt Syr Johan a good man ? 
Trb. Yes, that he is. 
ohan. Ha, Tyb, if I shulde hOt greve the, 
I have somewhat wherof I wolde meve the3 
T%. ,Vell, husbande, nowe I do conject 
That thou hast me somewhat in suspect ; 170 
But, by mv soule, I never go to Syr Johan 
But I fynde hym lyke an holv man, 
For eyther he is sayenge his levotion, 
Or els he is goynge in processyon. 
oban [aside]. Yea, rounde about the bed doth he go, 1.75 
You two together, and no mo; 
And for to fynysshe the procession, 
He lepeth up and thou lyest downe. 
I guess.  God's little wounds i cf. 1. 648. I comult question thee. 



o/an .o/an 

Tyb. What sayst thou ? 
ohan. Mary, I say he doth well, 
For so ought a shepherde to do, as I harde tell, 180 
For the salvation of ail his folde. 
'y». Johan Johan ! 
[ohan.] What is it that thou wolde? 
Tyb. By my soule I love thee too too, 
And I shall tell the, or I further go, 
The pye that was made, I have it nowe here, 185 
And therwith I trust we shall make good chere. 
ohan. By kokkis bodv that is very happy. 
Tyb. But wotest who gave it ? 
ohan. What the dyvel rek I ? 
Tyb. By my fayth, and I shall say trewe, than 
The Dyvell take me, and it were not Syr Johan. t9o 
ohan. 0 holde the peas, wyfe, and swere no more, 
But I beshrewe both your hartes therfore. 
Tyb. Yet peradventure, thou hast suspection 
Of that was never thought nor done. 
ohan. Tusshe, wife, let ail suche matters be, 19. 5 
I love thee well, though thou love not me-" 
But this pye doth nowe catche harme, 
Let us set it upon the harth to warme. 
Tyb. Than let us eate it as fast as we can. 
But bycause Syr Jhn is so honest a man, 2oo 
I wolde that he shulde therof eate his part. 
ohan. That were reason, I thee ensure. 
Tyb. Than, svns that it is thy pleasure, 
I pray the than go to hym ryght, a iii b 
And pray hym come sup with us to nyght. 2o 5 
ïhan [aside]. Shall he cure hyther ? by kokkis soule I was a-curst 
Whan that I graunted to that worde furst ! 
But syns I bave sayd it, I date not say nay, 
For than my wyfe and 1 shulde make a fray; 
But whan he is come, I swere by goddis mother, 21 o 
I wold gvve the dyvell the tone  to cary awav the tother. 
I excessivel.  the one. 



Tyb. XVhat sayst ? 

Mary, he is my curate, I say, 
My confessour and my frende alway, 
Therfore go thou and seke hvm by and by, 
And tyll thou corne agayne,  wyll kepe the pye. 215 
Tyb. Shall I go for him ? nay, I shrewe me than! 
Go thou, and seke, as fast as thou can, 
And tell hym it. 
toban. Shall I do so ? 
In fayth, it is hOt mete for me to go. 
Trb. But thou shalte go tell hym, for ail that. 220 
tohan. Than shall I tell hym, wotest [thou] what 
That thou desvrest hym to corne make some chere. 
Tvb. Nay, that thou desvrest hym to corne sup here. 
ohan. Nay, bv the rode, wyfe, thou shalt-have the worshyp 
And the thankes of thy gest, that is thy gossyp. 225 
Tyb [aside]. Full ofte I se my husbande wyll me rate, 
For ths hether commyng of our gentyll curate. 
."[oban. ,Vhat sayst, Tyb ? let me here that agayne. 
Trb. Mary, I perceyve verv playne 
That thou hast Syr Johan somwhat in suspect  230 
But by my soule, as far as I conject, 
He is vertuouse and full of charyte. 
toban [aside]. In fayth, ail the towne knoweth better, that he 
Is a hore-monger, a haunter of the stewes, 
An ypocrite, a knave, that ail men refuse ; 
A lyer, a wretche, a maker of stryfe, 
Better than they knowe that thou art my good wyfe. 
Trb. Vhat is that, that thou hast sayde ? 
ohan. Mary, I wolde have the table set and layde, 
In this place or that, I care hOt whether. 
b. Than go to, brynge the trestels 1 hyther. 
Abyde2 a whyle, let me put of my gown! 
But yet I am afrayde to lay it down, 
1 The stands on which the ' board ' of the table was fixed when needed. 
a This line is attributed in Rastell's edition to Johan, the next attribution being at I. zSz , also 
to Johan. Lines z58 , z59 are given to Tyb, 11. z6o-z6z to Johan, 1. z61 a to Johan, 
11. z6] b-z66 to Tyb. 



aran aran 7 3 

For I fere it shal be sone stolen. 
[ohan.] And yet it may lye safe ynough unstolen, z45 
[ Tyb.] It may lye well here, and I lyst,-- 
But, by cokkis soule, here bath a dogge pystl 
And if I shulde lay it on the harth bare, . i 
It myght hap to be burned, or I were ware 
Therfbre I pray you, 1 take ye the payne 250 
To kepe my gowne tyll I corne agayne. 
But yet he shall hot have it, by my fay, 
He is so nere the dote, he myght ton away ; 
But bycause that ye be trusty and sure 
Ye shall kepe it, and it be your pleasure ; z55 
And bycause it is arrayde  at the skyrt, 
Whyle ye do nothyng, skrape of the dyrt. 
[]oban.] Lo, nowe ara I redy to go to Syr Jhan, 
And byd hym corne as fast as he can. 
[Tyb.] Ye, do so without ony taryeng, z6o 
But I say, harke ! thou hast forgot one thyng; 
Set up the table, and that by and by. 3 
Nowe go thy ways. 
[ïohan.] I go shortly ; 4 
But se your candelstykkis be hOt out of the way. 
Tyb. Come agayn, and lay the table I say; z65 
What [ me thynkkis, ye have sorte don [ 
ohan. Nowe I pray God that his malediction 
Lyght on my wyfe, and on the baulde 5 preest. 
Tyb. Nowe go thy ways and hye the[ seest ? 
ohan. I pray to Christ, if my wyshe be no synne, z7o 
That the preest may breke his neck, whan he comes in. 
Tyb. Now cm again. 
ohan. ,Vhat a myschefe wylt thou, foie! 
Tyb. Mary, I say, brynge hether yender stole. 
1 « I pray you," etc., sald to one of the spectators, whom she next pretends to nfistrust, turn- 
ing at !. z54 to another one. 2 dirtied. 
a Fix the board on the trestles, and that at once. 
4 z63, etc. In the French Farse of Pernet OEui "va au .oin there are similar false starts and 
returnings, but in that case Pernet keeps coming back to watch his wife and ber loyer. 
6 bald, shaven, hot '«bold." 



".'oban. Nowe go to, a lyttell wolde make me 
For to say thus, a vengaunce take the ! 275 
Tyb. Nowe go to hym, and tell hvm playn, 
That tyll thou brynge hym, hou wylt hOt corne agayn. 
ohan. This pye doth borne here as it doth stande. 
Trb. Go, washe me these two cuppes in my bande. 
ohan. I go, with a myschyefe lyght on thy face! 280 
Tyb. Go, and byd hym hve hym a pace, 
And the whyle I sha]l ail thynges amende. 
ohan. This pye burneth here at this ende. 
Undelstandest thou ? 
73'b. Go thy ways, I say. 
ohan. I wyll go nowe, as fast as I may. 285 
Tyb. How, come ones agayne: I had forgot; 
Loke, and there be ony ale in the pot. 
Ïohan. Nowe a vengaunce and a verv myschyefe 
Lyght on the pylde  preest, and'on my wyfe, 
On the pot, the aie, and on the table, 29 ° 
The candyll, the pye, and all the rable, 
On the trystels, and on the stole ; , i,  
It is moche ado to please a curst foie. 
Tyb. Go thy ways nowe, and tary no more, 
For I am a hungred very sore. 295 
eohan. Mary, I go. 
Tyb. But come ones agayne yet ; 
Brynge hyther that breade, lest I forger it. 
ohan. I-wvs it were tyme for to tome 
The pye, for y-wys it doth borne. 
Tyb. Lorde! how my husbande nowe doth patter, .oo 
And of the pye styl doth clatter. 
Go nowe, and byd hym come away; 
I have byd the an hundred tvmes to day. 
ohan. I wyll hOt gyve a strawe; I tell you playne 
If that the pye waxe cold agavne. 3o5 
Tvb. XVhat ! art thou hot gone ve out of this place ? 
I had went, z thou haddest ben corne agayn in the space: 
I shorn.  thought. 



ohan ohan 75 

But, by cokkis soule, and I shulde do the ryght, 
I shulde breke thy knaves heed to nyght. 
7ohan. Nay, than if my wyfe be set a chydyng, 31o 
It is tyme for me to go at her byddyng. 
There is a proverbe, whiche trewe nowe preveth, 
He must nedes go that the dyvell dryveth. 
[He goes to tbe Priest's bouse.] 
How mayster curate, may I come in 
At your chamber dore, without ony syn. 
SYg JrlAN the Prent. 
Who is there nowe that wolde have me ? 
What 
7ohan. Mary, Syr, to tell you shortly, 
My wyfe and I pray you hartely, 
And eke desyre you wyth ail our myght, 320 
That ye wolde corne and sup with us to nyght. 
Syr 7" Ye must pardon me, in fayth I ne can. 
7oban. Yes, I desyre you, good Syr Johan, 
Take payne this onesi and, yet at the lest 
If ye wyll do nought at my request, 
Yet do somewhat for the love of my wyfe. 
.S)r 7" I wyll hOt go, for makyng of stryfe. 
But I shall tell the what thou shalte 
Thou shalt tary and sup with me, or thou go. 
7ohan. Vyll ye not go than ? why so ? 330 
I pray you tell me, is there any dysdayne, 
Or ony enmyte, betwene you twayne 
Syr 7" In fayth to tell the, betwene the and me, 
She is as wyse a woman as any may be; 
I know it welll for I have had the charge Bi 335 
Of her soule, and serchyd her conscyens at large. 
I never knew her but honest and wyse, 
Without any yvyll, or any vyce, 
Save one faut, I know in her no more, 
And because I rebuke her, now and then, therfore, 340 
She is angre with me» nd hath me in hate 



And yet that that I do, I do it for your welth. 
7ohan. Now God yeld it yow, god master curate, 
And as ye do, so send you your helth, 
Ywys I am bound to you a plesure. 45 
Syr 7" Yet thou thynkyst amys, peradventure, 
That of her body she shuld not be a good woman 
But I shall tell the what I have done Johan 
For that matter ; she and I be somtyme alofh 
And I do lye uppon her, many a tvme and oft 350 
To prove her, yet could I never espy 
That ever any dyd worse with her than I. 
7ohan. Syr, that is the lest care I have of nyne 
Thankvd be God, and vour good doctryne ; 
But vf it please you, te]l me the matter, 355 
And the debate 1 betwene you and her. 
Syr 7" I shall tell the, but thou must kepe secret. 
7ohan. As for that, Syr, I shall hot let. 
Syr 7" I shall tell the now the matter playn,-- 
She is angry with me and hath me in dysdayn 36o 
Because that I do her oft intyce 
To do some penaunce, after myne advyse, 
Because she wyll never leve her wrawlyng, " 
But alwav with the she is chydyng and brawlyng ; 
And theri'ore I knowe, she hatyth [my] presens. 365 
7oban. Nay, in good feyth, savyng your reverens. 
&,r 7" I know very well, she hath me in hate. 
ohan. Nay, I dare swere for her, master curate: 
[4side] But, was I not a very knave ? 
I thought surely, so god me save, 37 ° 
That he had lovyd my wyfe, for to deseyve me 
And now he quytyth hym-self; and here I se 
He doth as much as he may, for his lyre, 
To styn [te]  the debate betwene me and my wyfe. 
Syr 7" If ever she dyd, or though[t]« me any yll, 375 
Now I forgyve ber with rn [y] fre wyll; 
1 quarrd.  crying out, scolding, a Misprinted stynit. 
* Mispfinted tbougb.  Misprinted me. 



d'oan .j'o/an 77 

Therfore, Johan Johan, now get the home 
And thank thy wyfe, and say I wyll not come. 
ïohan. Yet, let me know, now, good Syr Johan, 
Where ye wyll go to supper than. 
Syr 7" I care nat greatly and I teil the. 
On saterday last, I and il or thre 
Of my frendes made an appoyntement, 
And agaynst this nyght we dyd assent 
That in a place we wolde sup together ; 
And one of them sayd, he 1 wolde brynge thether 
Aie and bread; and for my parte, I 
Sayd, that I wolde gyve them a pye, 
And there I gave them money for the makynge; 
And an-other sayd, she wolde pay for the bakyng ; 
And so we purpose to make good chere 
For to dryve awav care and thought. 
ohan. Than I pray you, Syr, tell me here, 
Whyther shulde ail this geare be brought ? 
8yr 7" By my fayth, and I shulde hOt lye, 
It shulde be delyvered to thy wyfe, the pye. 
ohan. By God! it is at my house, standyng by the fyre. 
8vr 7" ,Vho bespake that pye ? I the requyre. 
ohan. By my feyth, and I shall not lye, 
It was my wyfe, and her gossyp Margerye, 
And your good masshyp, z callvd Syr Johan, 
And my neybours yongest dotghter An; 
Your masshyp payde for the stuffe and makyng, 
And Margery she payde for the bakyng, a 
8yr 7" If thou wylte have me nowe, in faithe I wyll go. 
ohan. Ye, mary, I beseche your masshyp do so, 
My wyfe taryeth for none but us twayne; 
She thynketh longe or I come agayne. 
8yr 7" "Vell nowe, if she chyde me in thy presens, 
I wylbe content, and take [it] in pacyens. 

Bib 
380 

385 

390 

395 

400 

405 

4IO 

Apparently a misprint for sbe ; it was clearly to be provided by Tyb ; cf. I. 618. 
Cf. P/ay of I¢/'etler, I. z35. Udall's R. D., I. iv. ]3, etc. 
No provision seems to have been ruade for Margery and Arme sharing in the pie. 



7 8 .oAan .oAan 

7ohan. By cokkis soule, and she ones chyde, 
Or frowne, or loure, or loke asyde, 
I shall brynge you a staffe as myche as I may heve, 
Than bete her and spare not ; I gyve you good leve 
To chastyce her for her shreude varyeng. 
[ Tbey return to Jon«N's bouse.] 
Tyb. The devyll take the for thy long taryeng 
Here is not a whyt of water, by my gowne, 
To washe our handes that we myght syt downe 
Go and hve the, as fast as a snayle, 
And with'fayre water fyll me this payle. 420 
7ohan. I thanke out Lorde of his good grace 
That I cannot test longe in a place. 
7.'b. Go, fetche water, I say, at a worde, B il 
For it is tvme the pye were on the borde; 
And go w'ith a vengeance, & sav thou art prayde. 425 
Srr. 7- A! good gossyp[ is that well sayde ? 
''b. XVelcome, mvn owne swete harte, 
XVe shall make some chere or we departe. 
7ohan. Cokkis soule, loke howe he approcheth nere 
Unto mv wvfe: this abateth my chere. [Exit.] 430 
Srr 7" Bv od,'I wolde ve had harde the tryfyls, 
The'toys, the mokkes, the fables, and the nyfyls, 1 
That I made thy husbande to beleve and thynke! 
Thou myghtest as well into the erthe synke, 
As thou coudest forbeare laughyng any whyle. 435 
Trb. I pray the let me here part of that wyle. 
Srr 7" Mary, I shall tell the as fast as I can. 
But peas, no more -- yonder cometh thy good man. 
[ Re-enter 
7ohan. Cokkis soule, what have we here ? 
As far as I sawe, he drewe very nere 440 
Unto my wyfe. 
Tyb. XVhat, art come so sone 
Gyve us water to wasshe nowe--have done. 
1 Cf. 'rlfl," Play of 



.jo/an ..o/an 79 

'ban be kryngetb tbe payle empty. 
ohan. By kockes soule, it was, even nowe, full to the brynk, 
But it was out agayne or I coude thynke ; 
Wherof I marveled, by God Almyght, 445 
And than I loked betwene me and the lyght 
And I spyed a clyfte, bothe large and wvde. 
Lo, wyfe! here it is on the tone  syde. 
Tyb. Why dost not stop it ? 
7ohan. Why, howe shall I do it ? 
Trb. Take a lytle wax. 
johan. Howe shal I come to it ? 45o 
8yr 7" Mary, here be ii wax candyls, I say, 
Whiche my gossyp Margery gave me yesterday. 
Tyb. Tusshe, let hym alone, for, by the rode, 
It is pyte to helpe hym, or do hvm good. 
8),r 7" What[ Jhan Jhan, canst thoa make no shyfte ? 455 
Take this waxe, and stop therwith the clyfte. 
7ohan. This waxe is as harde as any wyre. 
Tyb. Thou must chafe it a lytle at the fyre. 
7ohan. She that boughte the these waxe candylles twayne, 
She is a good companyon certavn. 460 
Tyb. XVhat, was it not my gossyp Margery ? 
8vr 7" Yes, she is a blessed woman surely. 
yb. Nowe wolde God I were as good as she, 
For she is vertuous, and full of charyte. 
7ohan [aside]. Nowe, so God helpe me; and bv my holydome,  465 
She is the erranst baud betwene this and Rome. 
Tyb. What sayst ? B ii b 
7ohan. Mary, I chafe the wax, 
And I chafe it so hard that my fingers krakks. 
But take up this py that I here torne; 
And it stand long, y-wys it wyll borne. 47 ° 
Tyb. Ye, but thou must chafe the wax, I say. 
7ohan. Byd hym syt down, I the pray-- 
Syt down, good Svr Johan, I you requyre. 
Tyb. Go, I say, and chafe the wax by the fyre, 
 Cf. i. = l l. 2 saivation. 



Whyle that we sup, Syr Jhan and I. 
ïoban. And how now, what wyll ye do with the py ? 
Shall I not ete therof a morsell ? 
Tyb. Go and chafe the wax whyle thou art well, 
And let us bave no more pratyng thus. 
Syr... Benedicite. 
ohan. Dominus. 
Tb. Now go chafe the wax, with a myschyfe. 
oban. Vhat ! I corne to blysse the bord, 1 swete wyfe! 
It is mv" custome now and than. 
Mvch good do it you, Master Syr Jhan. 
Tvb. Go chafe the wax, and here no lenger tar 7. 
johan [aside]. And is not this a very purgator 7 
To se folkis ete, and may hOt ete a byt ? 
Bv kokkis soule, I am a very wodcok. 
This payle here, now a vengaunce take 
Now my wyfe gyveth me a proud mok! 
Trb. Vhat dost ? 
johan. Mary, I chafe the wax here, 
And I ymagyn to make you good chere, 
[Atside.] That a vengaunce take you both as ye syh 
For I know well I shall hOt ete a byt. 
But yet, in feyth, yf I myght ete one morsell, 
I wold thynk the matter went very well. 
8rr 7" Gossyp, Jhan Jhan, now mych good do it you. 
,Vhat chere make you, there by the fyre ? 
ohan. Master parson, I thank yow now; 
I fare well enow after myrte own desyre. 
S,'r 7" Vhat dost, Jhan Jhan, I the requyre ? 
ohan. I chafe the wax here by the fyre. 
Tyb. Here is good drynk, and here is a good py. 
Srr 7" Ve fare very well, thankyd be out lady. 
Tyb. Loke how the kokold chafyth the wax that is har 
And for his lyfe, daryth not loke hetherward. 
1 Cf. Pernet's : 
Vous iray)e signe h table ? 
Je scay bien le benedicite. 

475 

480 

485 

490 

495 

500 



.o /a n .o /a n 8  

8yr )r. What doth my gossyp ? 
ohan. I chafe the wax B 
[/Iside.] And I chafe it so hard that my fyngers krakks; 
And eke the smoke puttyth out my eyes two: 
I burne my face, and ray my clothys also, 
And yet I dare not say one word, 
And they syt laughyng yender at the bord. 
Tyb. Now, by my trouth, it is a prety jape, 
For a wyfe to make ber husband her ape. 
Loke of Jhan Jhan, which maketh hard shyft 
To chafe the wax, to stop therwith the clyft. 
ohan [aside]. Ye, that a vengeance take ye both two, 
Both hym and the, and the and hym also ; 
And that ye may choke with the same mete 
At the furst mursell that ye do ete. 
Tyb. Of what thyng now dost thou clatter, 
Jhan Jhan ? or whereof dost thou patter? 
ohan. I chafe the wax, and make hard shyft 
To stopt her-with of the payll the ryft. 
8yr . So must he do, Jhan Jhan, by my father kyn, 
That is bound of wedlok in the yoke. 
ohan [aside]. Loke how the pyld preest crammyth in; 
That wold to God he myght therwith choke. 
b. Now, Master Parson, pleasyth your goodnes 
To tell us some tale of myrth or sadnes, 
For our pastyme, in way of communycacyon. 
8yr ï. I am content to do it for our recreacyon, 
And of iii myracles I shall to you say. 
ohan. What, must I chafe the wax all day, 
And stond here, rostyng by the fyre ? 
8yr 7" Thou must do somwhat at thy wyves desyre! 
I know a man whych weddyd had a wyfe, 
As fayre a woman as ever bare lyfe, 
And within a senyght after, ryght sone 
He went beyond se, and left her alone, 
And taryed there about a vii yere; 
And as he cam homeward he had a hevy chere, 

B iii 

5IO 

515 

52O 

55 

53 ° 

5.35 

540 



For it was told hym that she was in heven. 
But, when that he comen home agayn was, 
He found his wyfe, and with her chyldren seven 545 
XVhiche she had had in the mene space; 
Yet had she not had so many by thre 
Yf she had hot had the help of me. 
ls not this a myracle, yf ever were any, 
That this good wyfe shuld have chyldren so many 55o 
Here in this town, whyle her husband shuld be 
Bevond the se, in a farre contre. 
ohan. Nmv, in good soth, this is a wonderous myracle, 
But for your labour, I wolde that your tacle i iii/, 
;ere in a skaldyng water well sod. 555 
T.b. Peace, I say, thou lettest the worde of God. 
Sir àg. An other mvracle eke I shall you say, 
Of a woman, vhiche that many a day 
Had been wedded, and in ail that season 
She had no chylde nother doughter nor son ; 560 
"Vherfore to Saynt Modwin I she went on pilgrimage, 
And offered there a lyre pyg, as is the usage 
Of the wyves that in London dwell ; 
And hrough the vertue therof, trulv to tell 
Vitl-,m a moneth after, ryght shortly, 565 
She was delyvered of a chylde as moche as I. 
How say you, is not this myracle wonderous ? 
oban. "s, es, in good soth, syr, it is marvelous; 
But surely, after myn opynyon, 
That chvlde was nother doughter nor son. $7 ° 
For certtynly, and I be hot begylde, 
She was delyvered of a knave chylde. 
Tvb. Peas, I say, for Goddis passyon, 
Thou lettest Svr Johan's communication. 
Sir 7" The thvrdemyracle also is this: 575 
I knewe nother woman eke y-wys, 
IS. Modwena, an Irish virgin, whodaed A.t. 5$. Sheissaid tohavebeenthepatroness 
of Burton-upon-Trent, and Henry. Vlll.'s ¢ommissioners sent thence to London «« the image 
of seint Moodw)'n with ber rel kowe and hir staff, which wymen labouryng of child in those 
parties were very desirous to bave with them to lean upon.'" 



da ] a n da ] a n 8 3 

Whiche was wedded, & within v. monthis after 
She was delyvered of a fayre doughter, 
As well formed in every membre & joynt, 
And as perfyte in every poynt 580 
As though she had gone v monthis full to th' ende. 
Loi here is v monthis of advantage. 
[ohan. A wonderous myracle[ so God me mende; 
I wolde eche wyfe that is bounde in maryage, 
And that is wedded here within this place, 585 
Myght have as quicke spede in every suche case. 
Tyb. Forsoth, Syr Johan, yet for ail that 
I have sene the day that pus, my cat, 
Hath had in a yere kytlyns eyghtene. 
ïohan. Ye, Tyb, my wyfe, and that have I sene. 59 ° 
But howe say you, Syr Jhan, was it good, your pye ? 
The dyvell the morsell that therof eate I. 
By the good lorde this is a pyteous warke-- 
But nowe I se well the olde proverbe is treu : 
The parysshe preest forgetteth that ever he was clarke[ 595 
But, Syr Jhan, doth hOt remembre you 
How I was your clerke, & holpe you masse to syng, 
And hylde the basyn alway at the offryng ? 1 iv 
He never had halfe so good a clarke as I ! 
But, notwithstandyng ail this, nowe our pye 600 
Is eaten up, there is not lefte a byt, 
And you two together there do syt, 
Eatynge and drynkynge at your owne desyre, 
And I am Johan Johan, whiche must stande by the fyre 
Chafyng the wax, and dare none other wyse do. 605 
8yr Ï. And shall we alway syt here styll, we two ? 
That were to mych. 
Tyb. Then rvse we out of this place. 
8yr Ï. And kys me than in the stede of grace; 
And farewell leman and my love so dere. 
Ïohan. Cokkis body, this waxe it waxte colde agayn here ;-- 6xo 
But what ! shall I anone go to bed, 
And eate nothyng, nother meate nor brede ? 



84 do/an .o]an 

I have not be wont to have suche rare. 
Tyb. XVhy! were ye not served there as ye are, 
Chafyng the waxe, standying by the fyre ? 
7ohan. XVhy, what mete gave ye me, I you requyre ? 
Sir 7" XVast thou not served, I pray the hartely, 
Both with the brede, the aie, and the pye ? 
_rohan. No, syr, I had none of that fare. 
7)'b. ,Vhv ! were ye not served there as ye are, 
Standyng by the fyre chafyng the waxe ? 
7ohan. Lo, here be many tryfyls and knakks-- 
Bv kokkis soule, they wene I am other dronke or mad. 
Trb. And had ve no meate, Johan Johan ? no had ? 
"Ïohan. No, T)b mv wyfe, [ had hOt a whyt. 
Trb. ,Vha-, hOt a rorsel ? 
johan. No, not one byt  
For honger, I trowe, I shall fall in a sowne. 
Sir 7" O, that .were pyte, I swere by mv crowne. 
Trb. But is it trewe ? 
7ohan. Ye, for a surete. 
T,'b. Dost thou ly ? 
7ohan. No, so mote ! the! 1 
Trb. Hast thou had nothyng ? 
7ohan. No, not a byt. 
Trb. Hast thou not dronke ? 
7ohan. No, not a whyt. 
Trb. ,Vhere wast thou ? 
7ohan. By the fyre I dyd stande. 
Trb. ,Vhat dydyst ? 
7ohan. I chafed this waxe in mv hande, 
,Vhere-as I knewe of wedded men the payne 
That they have, and yet dare not complayne ; 
For the smoke put out my eyes two, 
I burned my face, and ravde mv clothes also, 
Mendyng the payle, whiche is so rotten and olde, 
That it will not skant together holde ; 
And syth it is so, and syns that ye twayn 
x may I thfive. 

615 

62o 

625 

630 

635 

640 



ro/an ro/an 85 

Wold gyve me no meate for my suffysance, B iv/, 
By ko[k] kis soule I wyll take no lenger payn, 
Ye shall do ail yourself, with a very vengaunce, 
For me, and take thou there thy payle now, 645 
And yf thou canst mend it, let me se how. 
Tyb. A! horson's knave! hast thou brok mv" payll ? 
Thou shalt repent, by kokkis lylly nayll. 
Rech me my dystaf, or my clyppyng sherys: 
I shall make the blood ronne about his erys. 65o 
rohan. Nay, stand styll, drab, I say, and come no nere, 
For by kokkis blood, yf thou come here, 
Or yf thou onys styr toward this place, 
I shall throw this shovyll full of colys in thy face. 
Tvb. Ye! horson dryvyll ! get the out of my dore. 655 
ohan. Nay[ get thou out of my bouse, thou prestis bore. 
Sir )7. Thou lyest, horson kokold, evyn to thy face. 
ohan. And thou lyest, pyld preest, with an evyll grace. 
Trb. And thou lyest. 
[ohan. And thou lyest, Syr. 
Syr . And thou lyest agayn. 
ban. By kokkis soule, horson preest, thou shalt be slayn; 66o 
Thou hast eate our pye, and gyve me nought, 
By kokkes blod, it shal be full derely bought. 
Tvb. At hym, Syr Johan, or els God gyve the sorow. 
ohan. And have at your hore and thefe, Savnt George to borrow.  
Here they fyght by the erys a wbyle, and than the preest and tbe wyfe go 
out of the place. 
ohan. AI syrs[ I have payd some of them even as I lyst, 665 
They have borne many a blow with my fyst, 
I thank God, I have walkvd them well, 
And dryven them hens. ]3ut yet, can ye tell 
Whether they be go ? for by God, I fere me, 
That they be gon together, he and she, 67o 
Unto his chamber, and perhappys she wyll, 
Spyte of my hart, tary there styll, 
x for m¥ backer. CI'. R. D. IV. vil 7.ç, IV. viii. 4.ç. 



And, peradventure, there, he and she 
Wyli make me cokold, evyn to anger me ; 
And then had I a pyg in the woyrs I panyer, 
Therfor, by God, I wyll hye me thyder 
To se yf they do me any vylany : 
And thus fare well this noble company. 

I WOl'8 

675 

FINIs 

Imprinted by Wyllyam Rastell 
the r3J day of February 
the yere of our Lord 
lUCCCC and XXXlll 
C.un primilegi 



Nicho]as Uda]] 

ROISTER DOISTER 

Edited with Critical Essay and 
Note« ky Ewald Fltgel, Ph. D., 
Professor in 8tanford University 



CRITICAL ESSAY 

LiCe. m Nicholas Udall was born in ,5o6, of a good family residing in 
Harnpshire. As a lad of fourteen he entered Corpus Christi College, Oxford, 
and took his bachelor's degree there in Ma)', 5z4 .1 The years ofhis Uni- 
versity lire came at a period of great religious fermentation, and young Udall 
was, according to an old tradition, 2 one of the young enthusiasts in whom 
the humanistic fllling of Erasmus had prepared the soil for Lutheran doctrines 
from Wittenberg. We may, theretbre, imagine young Udall to have been 
one of those of whose heretical perversities Warham complains to Wolsey. z 
Apparendy Udall, as he gre,v older, grew if not calmer at least more cau- 
flous, and succeeded later in gaining the favour of Mary the Princess, and in 
retaining that of Mary the Queen. While at college, he formed a lasting 
friendship with John Leland, a friendship of which some poems of the latter 
give us a pleasing testimony. 4 Leland, of almost the same age as Udall, had 
taken his first degree at Cambridge in Szz, and according to an old custom, 
he continued his studies at Oxford, where Udall's generosity won his heart, s 
In May, 533, a number of verses vere composed by them in joint author- 
ship, for a pageant at the coronation of Anne Boleyn.  In the same year 
Udall seems to have setded at London as a teacher. He may even have con- 
templated becoming a monk--like Thomas More thirty years earlier ; he 
certainly dates his preface to the Flowers from Terence from the Augustinian 
Monastery at London, on the last of February, '534- In the following 
I Wood's Fasti» quoted by Arber. Arber assigns 1504 as the year of Udall's birth, but 
makes him "oet. 18 "" in 1524. C'. Cooper's Extracts from C. C. C. Register. 
u Cf. Baie, CataL ed. 1557, Cent. 9, 45 (fol. 717 ; general statement concerning Udall's 
Protestantism). Lutberanis disciplinis dura in acaderaia studuit addictus fuit, Tanner after 
Wood, cf. Cooper, XII. It is remarkable, however, that we do hot find Udall in correspond- 
ence with the reformers *' in exile." 
$ In Match, 1521 , cf. Ellis, Original Letters, I. 
4 Reprinted from Leland's Collectanea, V. by Cooper, XII. XIV. XXVI. 
 Cf. the epigram " de libealitate Nic. Odoual/i" quoted by Cooper, XII. 
; Original among the Royal lllss., 18 A. L. X lV. Cf. Calendars, etc., VI., No. 564 
lb. 565, referring to Latin verses on this coronation by Richard Coxe, Udall's predecessor at 
Eton (from Harl. 1lt. 6t48, f. t t7). Udall's verses are reprinted by Arber, Englisb Garne G 
z, 5z ; parts of them published by Collier and Fairholt. Cf. Cooper (XIII.), who dates the 
pageant t53z ('as does Ward, Hist. Drain. Poetr),, I. I¢1). This pageant shows Udall's 
earllest connection with the revels, and may have gi,en him a naine at the side of Heywood. 
89 



90 Nicholas Udall 

June he received the degree of Master of Arts from Oxford, and appears in 
the latter part of the same year as " Magister Informator" at Eton, suceeed- 
ing Master Richard Coxe? In this capacity he received payments between 
the last terres, 1534 and 154!-2 
We can scarcely judge at this late day of the character of Udail's eduea- 
tional services, but the fact that he ,vas generally on good terms with his 
pupils may reasonably be inferred from the preface to the edition of the 
Flowers, printed in 1545- 
We may further infer ,vith regard to his mastership at Eton, that he was 
himself influenced by the Eton custom of performing a play at Christmas. It 
appears even possible that the clause in a '« consuetudinary " of Eton (about 
156o ), allowing the Latin school eomedy to give place to an English one, 
if it were "witty and graceful," 3 may have been a result of Udail's master- 
ship. And it is probable that Roister Doister was originaily one of such 
plays unpretentiously offered bv Udall to his boys, 4 modestly put aside afier 
the performance and printed lng afierwards. If all this be true, Udail's 
mastership deserves immortal lame in the annais of English literature. But 
the immortaiity is unfortunately of a different nature. Udai1 is stigmatized 
by one ungrateful pupil as a second Orbilius plagosus, the reaiization of Eras- 
mus's executioner. Tusser's ofien quoted doggerel runs : 
"Fmm Paules I went to Eaton sent 
To leam stright waies, the latin phrales 
When fiftie three stripes giuen to mec 
At once I had : 
For fault but small, or none at ail, 
It came to pas» thus beat I was» 
Sec Udall see, the mercie of thee 
To me poore lad.'" 6 
We eannot now decide upon the merits of the case, but we are inclined 
to think that Tom Tusser the boy was as shiftless as Thomas Tusser the 
 U. speaks later of the Eton mastership as « that tourne which I was neuer desirous to 
obtain."  Cf. Arber, p. 3- 
8 Cf. Warton, Hist. of Englisb Poetry, 3, ]08 ; Interdum etiam exbibet [sc. ludi magist«r] 
lnglico sermone contextas fabulas, si OEu babeant acumen et leporem. Eton was the only phce 
where ,we knouo of Englisb plays ; but Radulphus Radcfif at Hitchin may bave performed some 
of his school comedies in English, as the "plebs "" mentioned by Baie would hot much have 
appreciated Latin performances, Catalogus» 8» 98, fol. 700 ; Hefford, Literary Relations» p. x *o, 
citing the occasional admission of English school plays at Eton, says that to "this concession 
we owe the RaIpb Roister Doister." More likely we owe the concession to Roister Doister. 
Cf. Herford on Udall's De Papatu. 
4 It œems improbable that the R. D. was ever performed at Court ; Udall's " interludes 
and device "' were pageants, as the Loselev Mss. pmve ; see below. 
6 Tusser's.,qoo Pointe*» c'd. Payne & lerrtage» p. zo 5. 



Ni c h o las Uda ll 9  

man later proved to be, and that, although he may have been a fine "" quer- 
ister," his "latin phraies" would frequently offend the ear of the con- 
scientious humanist. Let us suppose that Thomas deserved his fifty-three 
stripes twice over, but did hot realize that 6 t;1 &pd dvtgpo,ro o¢« rrat- 
In March,  54 ,* some abuses were exposed that had lately disgraced the 
school. A robbery of plate and silver images was detected, to which two 
late Eton scholars and a servant of Udall's confessed ; and Udall hiself 
became "suspect tobe counsel of the robbery." The judicial report states 
that Udall "' having certain interrogatoryes ministred unto hym toching the 
sayd fact and other felonious trespasses whereof he was suspected, did confess 
that he did comitt a heinous offence with the sayd cheney la '" scoler" of 
Eton] sundry tymes hertofore and of late the vj th day of this present monethe 
in this present yere at London : whereupon he was committed to the Mar- 
shalsey." 
Udall was discharged from his office, but did hot remain long in prison 
(as would have been the case ifhe had been proved guilty ofa "felonious " 
crime) ; and an influential personage unknown to us ruade efforts to bring 
about his "restitution to the tourne of Scholemaister in Eton." Udall 
thanked this patron in an interesting letter, which seems to corroborate the 
words of the indictment, but states that the ', heinous offence " was com- 
mitted in London (hot in Eton), and that it resulted in heavy debts. The 
most careful consideration of the letter leads me to believe that Udall had 
nothing to do with the tbeft, but had neglected lais duties as teacher, and 
had hot given the right example of " frugall livyng."  Most likely he had 
only followed the royal example ; had enjoyed too much " Pastyme with 
good companye !" 

I Cooper attributes to Udall's severlty the running away from school of «' divers" Eton 
boys alluded fo by Roger Ascham (Scboolmaster). But this passage refers to xo Dec. x563, 
twenty-two years after Udall had ceased to swing the rod over the Eton hoys ! 
 Cf. quotation from Nicolas's Proc«edings and Ordinances of tbe Pri C.ouncil 7, 15 z-53, 
in Cooper i the date is 4 Match 3z Henry VIII.  54-4 z) and hot 543, as Arber gives 
it. Arber dates Udall's letter also wrongly x 543 i it is referred to  54-4 z in EUis's Original 
l.ettrs of Eminent Literary 1e% Camden Soc., 843 , p. !. 
a ,, Accepte this myn honest chaunge from vice to vit'tue» from prodigalitee to frugal| 
livyng, from negligence of teachyng to assiduitee, from playe to studie from lightness to 
gvitee.'" He speaks about, his "offenses," does hot wish to excuse himself, but says 
"humana quidem esse, et emendari posse." He begs for a chance to show his "emendyng 
and reformaon," and quotes instances from ancient history of great men who had indulged in 
a "veray riottous and dissolute sorte of livyng " in their youth, had been " drowned in volup- 
tuousnesa" and had lived in ' slaundre and infamie»" but had reforme& Not a word is said 
about thefts» '« robberies" and such "felonious trespasses." Cf. the whole letter from a new 
collation in FliigeI's L«ebucb, !, 35 t. 



9 2 ]VicAolas Udall 

In the same letter Udall petitions for a place where he could show lais 
"amendment," and which would enable him also "" by lide and lide . . . 
to paye euery man iris own." * 
We do hot know of the result of this 1errer, but it seems that Udall went 
" north" in the autumn of the same year. At any rate, in October,  54z, 
Robert Aldrich, Bishop of Carlisle, received letters "by the hande of Mr. 
Vdall " ;' and Leland in a charming litde song addressed to iris "snow- 
white ffiend," refers to Udall as residing among the "Bfigantes, where 
Mars now has the rule." s 
In the same autumn appeared Udall's translation ofErasmus's .4popbtbegms  
and--after his return south--he was connected for the following three 
vears with a great literary undertaking, which was hot only favoured by the 
iSourt, but progressing under its auspices and with its collaboration, --Prin- 
cess Mary taking the most active part. This was the English translation of 
Erasmus's Paralobrase of tbe New Testament. 5 
Under Edward VI., Udall devoted himself to theological works ; he stood 
up tbr the royal prerogative in religious matters in Iris 4nswer to tbe articles 
of tbe commoners of Devonsbire and Cornwall (summer 549 ); he took Iris 
share in a memorial volume published in  55 , after Bucer's death, and he 
translated in the same year Peter Martyr's -ractatus and Disloutatio De Eu- 
cbaristia. A royal patent 7 (of 1551 ) granted him the "privilege and 

1 U. does not beg in thls letter for hls «« restltution," as Arber seems to accept. 
a Cf. Cooper, XXIII. 
a Mars had " the t-uie" there October, 542-july, 543 (Froude, 3, 525-57°), then 
again August, 547 (Somerset in Berwick, Froude, 4, 255); the naval expedition of 
Hertford in May, t 544., being here out ofthe question (lb. 4, 32) • 
c This translation (published in September) might also indicate some connection between 
Udall and Aldrich during the summer of  542. Aldrich was a great " Erasmian " ; he had 
Ix'en the ju*venis blande elouentie whom Erasmus used as interpreter on that immortal pil- 
grimage to Walsingham, and he kept up a correspondence with Erasmus. 
 Udall took as his share St. Lu*e and the "disposition "" of the test with exception of 
St. fftobn and St. I[ar ; perhaps he assisted also in the translation of 2]Iattbew and lcn. 
The Prefaces are dated  545, 1548- The whole must bave been quite a lucrative business- 
undertaldng, because every parish in England had, by law, to buy a copy of this work and 
"every parson had to bave and diligenrl), stud), the same conferring the one [tbe 2Vew Testa- 
ment botb in Latin and Englisb] with the other [tbe paraphrase]. Cf. Cranmer's Remaim 
t55, 56 (548); the lnjunctions of Edward, 547 (lb. 499, 5°), etc.; cf. also Gfin- 
dal's lorks» 134 , 157 ; Hooper's IlVorks, z, '39, '43 (Parker ,Soc.). 
0 Cranmer too wrote **clns.)ers to tbe Fifteen x'lrticles of tbe Rebels, Devon, Anno  549," 
reprinted in his Remaim, 63 ; and a number of references to the Rebellion may be round in 
the Wrltings of the Reformers, f. i. Letter of Hooper to Bullinger, z 5 June,, 549, of obn ab 
Ulmis to Bu//inKer , May zS, 155o , of Burcber to BullinKer , z 5 August, I549. But none 
of thete correspondents e*er mention UdalL 
 Cf. Cooper, XXX. 



Nicho/as Uda/! 93 

lycense . . . to preint the Bible in Englyshe as well in the large volume for 
the use of the churches wthin this out Rea]me . . . as allso in any other 
convenient volume." 
This privilege was hot the only sign of royal favour : we find Udall in 
November, t 55 t, presented by the IGng to a prebend in Windsor, I and later 
(in March, t553) to the Parsonage of Calborne, in the Isle of Wight. 
After such favours received from Edward, and such services in the Prot- 
estant camp, we should expect to find Udall in disgrace under Queen Mary, 
and sharing with his fellow-Protestants at least the bitter rate of exile, but 
Mary had apparently preserved a grateful memory for ber former fellow- 
worker in the Erasmian translation. If, indeed, she did hot use him as a 
theologian, she remembered his dramatic talents, and so we find that a special 
warmnt was issued, December 3, 1554-, which shows us Udall in the ff31e 
of playwright. The Office of" the Queen's Revels was directed by the 
warrant referred to, to de|iver to Udall such "" appare| " at anv time as he 
might require for the "setting foorth of Dialogues and Enterludes " before 
the Queen, for ber "" regell disporte and recreacion." In the beginning of 
the document e appears an allusion to Udall as having shown previously "" at 
soondrie seasons" his "" dilligence " in arranging "" Dialogues and Enter- 
ludes"--important documentary evidence of" his connection with the 
"" Revels," a connection apparent]y begun with the pageant for vhich he 
furnished such poor verses at Arme Boleyn's coronation. 
This evidence for the fact that Udall was known as a svriter of '« plays " 
before l gg 4 is singularly corroborated by the quotation of Roister's letter 
to Custance (Act III., Scene iv.) as an example of "" ambiguity" in the 
t  edition of Wilson's Rule of Reasott.  

1 An interesting Ictter of Udall'ss dated August, t 552, referring to his place at Windsor, 
was printed in 4rcbwologia, t869, Vol. XLII. 9x, but has hot hitherto been utilized for 
Udail's Biography. The preface to a translation of T. Geminie's 2qnatomy by Udall is dated 
zo july, t55z ; cf. Cooper, xxxI. ; Udall's Epistolw et Carmina ad Gui. Hormannum et ad 
to. I.elandum, are quotcd by Baie, etc., and given under this year by Cooper (who reads: 
Hermannum). Hormann died t 535, as ,'ice-provost of Eton. 
a This warrant was communicated to the Archœeological Society, December 9, x 824, by Mr. 
Bray (2"lrcboedoKia , 2t, 55t ), but hot pfinted until t86 in the Loseley lIss., now first edited 
by A. j. Kempe; No. t, p. 63. 
* See below, under Date of the Early Edition of R.D. Another early allusion to Udall as 
a playwfight is that from Nichds's Progresses f een Elizabetb, 3, t 77, according to which 
"an English play called Ezeias, ruade by Mr. Udall and handled by K]ng's College men 
only," was performed before Efizabeth August 8,  564, at Cambridge ; see Cooper's Preface 
xxxiii. Baie, who does hot mention Udall as a playwright in the edition t 548 of his CataloKus 
(he mentions only [Ochino's ?] TraKoedia de papatu), says in the cdition September, t557, 
that Udall wrote *' comclias plures.'" There is nothin 8 on Udall in his 8ulleraent of 
559- 



94 

Nicholas Udall 

As to the nature of Udall's "Dialogues," "" Enterludes," and "'devises," 
we are hOt entirely without information. The very date of the warrant 
would indicate the occasion for Udall's services (December 3, 554), if 
we had not a more definite statement. He was commissioned to get up the 
Christmas shows before Mary and Philip. 
Udall was in a dangerous position, rince any reference to the Protestant 
sympathies of the nation might bave cost his life, but he realized the situa- 
tion, and with good tact presented "divers plaies," the "'incydents" of 
which were very innocent :  " A mask of patrons of gallies like Venetian 
senators, with galley-slaves for their torche-bearers ; a mask of 6 Venuses 
or amorous ladies with 6 Cupids and 6 torche-bearers to them," and some 
,, Turkes archers,"  "Turkes magistrates," and "Turkie women," "' 6 
lions' hedds of paste and cement," and a few other harmless parapher- 
nalia. 
How long Udall served the queen in this capacity we do not know. In 
55ç, towards the end of his career, we find him at bas old calling as 
master of Westminster School. n When in November of the following year 
the old monastery was again opened, naturally Udall's services becarne 
superfluous, and he was doubtless discharged ; and so indeed the darkness 
enshrouding the last months of bas life may cover a period of great distress. 
He died in December, 6, and found bas last resting place in St. Marga- 
ret's, Westminster ; where almost thirty years before Skelton had found first 
a sanctuary and then a grave. 
It seems that the queen did not erect a monument over the ashes of her 
old friend, at least none is registered by the industrious Weever; 4 but Udall 
does not need a monument from Queen Mary, he has erected it bAmself-- 
oere perennius--in the annals of English literature. 

I It is remarkable that these documents should never have been utilized for Udall's biog- 
raphy. Cf. the « Miscellaneous Extracts from Various Accounts relating to the Office of the 
Revels," printed among the Loseley )lIss., p. 9 o. The Muniment Room of James More 
Molyneux at Loseley House, Surrey, would furnish these and perhaps other documents most 
valuable for UdaiYs History and that of the Early Drama. 
The "scheme for an interlude, in which the persons of the drama were to be a King 
a Knigbt, a udge, a Preacber, a 8cbolar, a $ering-man,'" which Hazlitt (Handboo, 
6) carelessly attributes to Udall, is not connected with his naine i cf. Loseley Mss., 
p. 64- 
 These may refer to another pageant, I.c. 
 No exact date given by Cooper, XXXIV. Hales gives good reasonB for the probability 
that Udall's rnastetship commence! in '553 ; cf. Engli,cbe $tudien, ,8, 42, ; cf. lb., a very 
interesting note on the Terentian Plays, annually performel at the Westminster School. It 
r, eerns almost as if here, as weil as at Eton, UdaiYs headmastership had orne significance for 
the history of the Engfish school comedy. 
 Funerall Monumenu, A. 63 ' fol. 497- 



Nicholas Udall 95 

Date of the Play.- Roister Doister was formerly assigned to the 
time of Udall's mastership at Eton (534-4). 1 In more recent 
years, however, this date bas been rejected, and Professor J. w. 
Hales bas tried to show that "this play was in fact written in 
I552, and more probably written for Westminster school." 2 
The arguments of Professor Hales, as far as I can sec, might be 
summarized thus : 
I. The fact that Wilson--an old Eton boy himself, who left 
the school in I54 , and ought to have known of the play if it had 
ever been performed there--does hot insert the «ambiguous letter" 
in his first and second editions of the Rule of Reason (I$$I, I$$2), 
whereas he inserts it in the edition of  553, "suggests that this comedy 
the appearances of the second and the third editions.'" 
theory speak further--according to Professor 

was written between 
In favour of this 
Hales -- 
2. The fact that 
in the I548 edition 

Bale does hot mention any of Udall's comedies 
of his Catalogus ; 
3" The fact that **about I552" Udall was in high esteem as a 
ttcomic dramatist" ; 
4. The fact that Udall quotes a number of proverbial phrases 
which he got from Heywood's proverbs, published first in  546 ; 
5. The fact that the usury statute of 37 Henry VIII. was re- 
pealed in t55 OE, "of some moment" as far as the « reference [in 
the play] to excessive usury " is concerne& 
The first argument is doubtless the strongest, but I venture to 
argue that the quotation of t553 does hot prove that the play was 
written in I552 , but only that Wilson was unable to use a copy of 
theplay before I553; whether this copy was a manuscript copy, or 
a printed (and now lost) edition of the play, we cannot decide; 
most probably Iilson's quotation was made from an early edition of 
Roister, printed in I55. 
The fact that Wilson left Eton in I54 seems to make it probable 
that he remembe.'ed the "ambiguous" passage from his school days. 
The second argument is very slight, for Baie does hot give a 
complete list of Udall's works either in edition I548 or in edition 
1 Sec above, p. 9 o, and notes. 
a The Date ofthe First Engfish Comedy» in Engli»cbe 8tudien, 8, 4o8-4z. 



9 6 _/Vicho/as 

1557; nor does he mention Udall's connection with the corona- 
tion pageants of 1533; and a modest school comedy would natu- 
rally hot at once become public property. 
The third argument is based on a serious anachronism. IIé do hot 
know anything of Udall's faine as a "comic dramatist about I55." 
The warrant of December 3, 1554, is dated, and cannot be used 
fbr "about 1552." Besicles, the nature of Udall's " dialogues and 
interludes" for the " regell disporte and recreacion," as explained 
on p. 93, above, excludes any possibility of connecting these "Dia- 
logues " with the comedy. 
The number of proverbial phrases which Udall uses in common 
with Heywood's Proverbs (the early date of which,  546, is rather a 
myth) proves no dependence of Udall on Heywood. Their use proves 
merely that Udall, as well as Heywood, talked the London English 
of his time, and that both were familiar witb phrases common in 
the early sixteenth century. Any possible number of such phrases 
could hot prove any "dependence." 
,Vith regard to the allusion in Roister Dolster to the Usury Statute, 
one may readily see that the reference is hot to a date later than the 
repeal, in 1552 , of 37 Henry VIII., c. 9, but to a period between 
1545 and 1552. In Act V., Scene ri., lines 2 to 30» Custance 
blames Roister humorously, hot for taking interest at ail, but for 
taking too much (fifteen to one !), and for taking it right away instead 
of waiting until the year was up. The passage» therefore» does hot 
refer to the law passed 5 and 6 Edward VI., c. 20 (1552), which 
repeals 37 Henry VIII., c. 9, and orders that "no person shall 1end 
or forbear any sum of monev for any maner of Usury or Increase 
to be received or hoped for aove the Sure lent, upon pain to forfeit 
the Sure lent, and the Increase, [with] Imprisonment, and Fine at 
the king's pleasure." The passage refers to 37 Henry VIII., c. 2o 
(1545) , to a law which allows ten per cent interest : "The sure of 
ten pound in the hundred, and so after that rate and hot above»" and 
which forbids the lender "to receive, accept or take in Lucre or 
Gain for the forbearing or giving Day of Payment of one whole year 
of and for his or their money»" for any other " Period" but the 
year, hot « for a longer or shorter time." Cf. the technical terre 
"gain" in line .30. 



]VicAolas Udall 97 

If, therefore, Custance's joke can be taken as an indication of 
che cime when the play was written, it would be an indication 
of che period between 545 and 1552 , or, at any rate, before I552.1 
I should, however, not be inclined on account of this reference 
to usury to date che play between '545 and ,55z. I would tacher 
regard che allusion as a lacer insertion, which ought hot to weaken 
che force of the internal evidence in favour of che old theory, accord- 
ing to which che play belongs to the Eton period of Udall's lire, to 
che years between 53 and ,5*. 
Date of the Early Edition.--The Stationers Company's Registers 
show (ed. Arber, I, 33 I) four pence as 

"Recevyd of Thomas hackett for hys lycense for pryntinge 
of a play intituled Rauf Ruyster Duster," 

and the unique copy of the play which has corne down to us has 
been regarded as the solitary relic of this edition. Title-page and 
colophon are lacking. 
Hackett, however, printed between October (November ?),  56o, 
and July,  589 ; and Arber dates che unique copy : "?  566." 
This copy is now in the possession of Eton College. On che first 
fly-leaf are written the words : "The Gift of che Rev à Tho 8 Briggs 
to Eton Coll. Library, Dec r 818." As shown above, the quota- 
tion of the 'tambiguous" letter in the 553 edition of Wilson's 
Logique speaks, however, in favour of an edition earlier than that of 
che unique copyi and this earlier edition might be dated « 1552 ? "' 9. 
1 Professor Hales in his esmy on the date of Roister (Engliscbe &udien 18 419) quotes 
for these mur,/laws the incomplete account of them in Craik's ttistory of British Commerce, 
1, 22 :231. 
The law of I54. 5 (so dated by Ruffhead ; and hot , 54.6) is far more important on accourir 
of its clause about che "yearly interest "" chan of chat about che ten per cent. 
To Collier has been given che credit of first (*'soon after *Szo") connecting Udall's 
mme with Roist«r Doi,tei, che unique copy of which had been published by che finder, che 
Re¢ . Tho'. Briggs, in ,8,8. But, in the first place, Collier could hot have identified 
the ' amhiguous" letter in " Wilson'a lrt of Logic» printeA hy Richard Grafton, * 55, ,'" as 
he mys he did, rince "The fuie of Reason, contei II nyng che Arte of[I Logique, set forthJl in 
Zng$he, Il by Thomas II Vuilson. Il /n. M.D. Ll. ebes hot contain the OEuotation from 
Roiuer Doister (copy in the Bodleian kindly examined for me by Professor Gayley), neither 
does the edition of I_çwew (cf. Arber). On folio 66 of the third edition ('555) appears for 
the first rime : "An er.ample of soche doubtful wfiting whiche hy reason of poincting maie 



9 8 Nicholas Udall 

Place of Roister Doister in English Literature. Roister Doister 
is the only specimen of Udall's dramatic art preserved by Fate, but 
itis sufficient to justify us in assigning to the author bis place as 
father of English Comedy. 
The causes that brought a « Latinist," a schoolmaster, a theo- 
logical writer to such a position are interesting to consider. Pri- 
marily, of course, it is his genius, his « Froh-natur,'" his way of 
looking at the world, and his art of representing this picture of the 
world, to which we owe Roister Doister, but besides this we may 
be certain that Udall's classical training, the condition of the Latin 
School-comedy of his time, and, finally, his clear insight into the 
character of the national play helped him to the place that he holds. 
If Udall had been merely a pedantic schoolmaster, one of whose 
duties it was to superintend an annual Christmas play, he would 
have been satisfied with an adaptation of--let us say--the liles 
Gloriosus, or he would merely have translated the glliles as the/lndria 
had been translated belote i perhaps he would even have been satis- 
fied with a performance of the play in the Latin. On the other 
hand, had he never been obliged to drill boys in Terence, his plays 
would have remained « interludes" of the old type, and at best, he 
would now receive honourable mention by the side of Heywood. 
It was his ver), position as teacher of the classics, his humanism 
(apart from the annual necessity of advising the « enterluders" at 
Christmas time)which must have pointed out to him the way in 
which the « enterlude" might be outgrown, the way that would 
lead to a new category of plays : the « comedy." 
Udall (if the prologue to Roister Doister is his own, as we have 
no reason to doubt)1 seems to have been somewhat doubtful at first 
about the designation of his play ; he calls it at the beginning « thys 
enterlude" ; but he realized the new departure which he had taken, 
and calls it later « Out Comedie or Enterlude.'" By the use of this 

haue double sense, and contrarie mean]ng» taken out of an entrelude ruade by Nicolas Vdal." 
And, in the second place, Collier had been anticipated, in part, for as early as 1748 reference 
had been ruade to the passage from Wilson by Tanner, who write (Bibliotbeca, s. n.): In 
Thm. Wilson's Logica, p. 69 lit fs leaf 67 of edition 1567 in my possession] sunt uidem 
mersus ambigui semus ex Comœedia 7uadam huius 2Vie. Udalli d«sumpti. 
I With this opinion, and that of p. 9 o, n. 4.» contrast Fleay's argument» Hist. Stage, pp. 
59» 6o. Gen Ed. 



Ncholas Udall 99 
• I, . M¢ANAWAY 
word,--the first time applied correctly to an English comedy,-- 
Udall indicates his aspirations, his sources and classical models: 
those plays which were the comedies par excellence, the comedies 
of Terence, and -- especially since the discovery of the twelve 
"new" plays in 429-those of Plautus. Udall shows himself a 
genuine disciple of the Renaissance; he «imitates" in that true 
way in which " imitation "has always ultimately proved "origi- 
nality": he shows that he had absorbed the spirit of the Roman 
comedy, that he fully understood the easy movement, the sparkling 
and refined dialogue, the succinct but full delineation of character, 
and the clear development of a plot. But besides all this he pos- 
sessed enough patriotic feeling not to overlook the merits of the 
modest national "interlude" of England. He did not too anx- 
iously avoid carrying out here and there even a farcical motive; 
but with the higher ideal belote him, he succeeded in fusing the 
classical and the national elements into a new category, becoming 
thus the father of English comedy. 
Udall's position appears clearly if one compares his work with 
Gammer Gurtons Nedle on the one hand, and- regarding them as 
a type--with Heywood's farces on the other. 
The good taste and higher art of Roister Doister are at once evi- 
dent: the play is free from the undeniable vulgarity of Gammer 
Gurton, and in delineation of character is distinctly superior. The 
plot, simple as it is, is never as meagre as in the clever dialogues 
of Heywoodl and as much as Udall surpasses Heywood in con- 
struction of the plot, I think he surpasses him in delineation of 
character. For even if, as Ward says, 1 in Heywood's witty plays, 
the "personified abstractions " of the moralities have been entirely 
superseded by "personal types," these personal types have hOt vet 
matured into individual persons, into men of flesh and blood, as tley 
bave in Udali's play. 
I take, of course, for granted Udall's absolute superiority over 
that category of interludes which  bastards of the " Moralities "-- 
seem to have had no other purpose than to introduce dogmatical 

1 Ward in Dict. 1Var. Biog. 26, 332. Ward says that in Heywood'8 Play8 the "bridge 
[ad been built '" to Englih Comedy. I think rather that this bridge was a temporary struç- 
turc, walting to be replaced by the more solidly planned work of a higher architect. 



 oo NicAolas Udall 

moralizations, seasoned perhaps wlth a tavern scene or with some 
other farcical coarseness, and at best ending with an "unmotived " 
conversion of tbe sinner or sinners. 
Pl0t and Characters.- Udall's plot is so simple that its develop- 
ment becomes clear ata glance; it consists of the unsuccessful 
wooing of Raiph Roister Doister for the hand of Dame Christian 
Custance, evolved amid various entanglements, and ultimately un- 
successfui, hot so much because Custance is at the time of Roister's 
first advances already engaged to another man, as because Roister's 
folly is so enormous that no success can be possible. 
Now the figure of an avowed fool in love wo-ld give excellent 
scenes for a farce, but would hot yieid the complications of charac- 
ter and situatio,l necessary for a comedy; and in order to bring 
about this essential complexity, there is introduced a second motive 
for action in this fool's own character,-- that of vainglory. There 
is also introduced a personage who shall season the play by his wit 
and produce the necessary entanglements. This is Mathew Mery- 
greeke, who grows gradually under the poet's hands, until he occu- 
pies the most prominent place in the play, at least as far as our 
interest in the different characters is concerned. Despite ail that 
bas been said to the contrarv, MeD'greeke is Udall's own creation, 
--a figure in itself deserving of high praise. Undoubtedly this 
character was at first conceived as a mere modern parasite, of a 
much higher type, however, than the Sempronio, for instance (in 
Calisto and lleliboea), but as the play advanced the figure outgrew 
its original limits, and although in the first scenes Merygreeke is 
scarcelv out of the eggshell of the parasite, he proves very soon to 
be a new character: a character belonging to the class of Pan- 
darus, a " Friend" playing the part of kindly Fate, a Vice certainly 
mischievous and cruel enough, but directing everything to a good 
end; as full of humour and fun as of character, and, at the bottom 
of his heart, of good-nature. 
Merygreeke cornes indeed to Roister at first "for his stomach's 
sake" and wants a new coat, but he bas on the whole only a few 
traits of the parasite, 1 and these might be left out without injuring 
I These traits as well as the practical jok¢s would, of course» be especially enjoyed by th© 
Eton phy¢rt and th¢ir youth audience. 



Ni c/m las Uda ll  o  

the play in the least. As soon as he sees Roister in love, his humour 
gains the upper hand ; he realizes at once what a capital source of 
fun this «love'' on the part of a vain fool might become, and he 
determines to bring about such complications as will yield the 
greatest quantity of amusement. His purpose may, indeed, at first 
bave been merely egotistical, to bave the fun himself; but he is 
forgiven because ail the other persons of the play--as well as the 
audience--are liberally invited to the feast. Merygreeke may ap- 
pear at times as a false friend and thus as an immoral character, but 
his flattery is so exaggerated, his lies are so improbable, so enormous, 
so amusing to ail sane people,--Roister so fully deserves (indeed 
provokes) the cruel treatment,--that any possible wrath of a 
moralizing censor is entirely disarmed. Supreme folly stands out- 
side the common moral order of things. Even if Merygreeke had 
hOt disclosed his motives, we could see from the respect which is 
shown him by Custance and Trusty, that he is far from being a 
treacherous parasite. And after ail he does not betrav his friend. 
He rather helps him to what he really desires. And what Roister 
most deslres in this world is, after ail, hOt the possession of the fair 
widow, but the satisfaction of his vanity. How quickly does he 
forget his love in the delusion fostered by Merygreeke, that Good- 
luck and Custance desire to lire in peace with him because they 
fear him. The lie is in harmony with poetic justice. 
Merygreeke bas been characterized 1 as « the Artotrogos of Plau- 
tus, the standing figure of the parasite of the Greek new comedv and 
its Latin reproductions." But, though Merygreeke was doubtless 
originally planned as the parasite of the play, and though here and 
there to the very end of the play we find allusions which corrobo- 
rate this, I note, first, that the classical parasite  lacks the element 
of modern humour, of witty but, after ail, good-natured enjoyment of 
the mischief which he stlrs up; secondly, that Merygreeke is free 
from endless and-- to us-- tedious allusions to the t, stomach "; 
and, thirdly, from the vulgar, and almost uninteresting, selfishness, 
revealed in such words as these of Gnatho: 

1 Ward, ffist. Drain. Lit., t, 57 (Lond.: t899. 
2 Cf. the splendid essay on the Roman Colau and Parasite in O. Ribbeck's Hist. of Roman 
Lit. ( $tuttgart, t887) , 



1oa NicAolas Udall 

Principio ego vos credere ambos hoc mi vehementer volo 
Me Iuius ŒEuicŒEuid faciam id facere maxume causa mea. 
I may be mistaken, but I cannot find that the classical parasite bas 
any çne touch of the humour that is inseparable from « humanity,'" 
from good nature. The classical parasite is, on account of this 
deficiency, distinctly inferior to this modern creation. 
As completely as in Merygreeke's case, Udall disarms the mor- 
alist in the case of Roister himself, whose lying 1 and bragging, 
whose cowardice, matched only by his vanity, cannot possibly be 
regarded as setting a bad example, because they have reached 
dimensions which are grotesque and plainly ridiculous. They re- 
suit only in the propagation of his folly, and that is allowed to reap 
its--poor--external fruit: Roister is "invited " to the banquet 
(and Roister bas constitutionally a good "stomach"), and he is 
made to believe that he is a much « dreaded lion." Fate bas for- 
tunately hOt pressed the mirror into his hands. He is saved the 
sight of the ass's ears visible to every one else3 And as kind as 
Fate is his " friend" Merygreeke, who never reveals to him bis 
absolute wretchedness, and who bas to the last the satisfaction of 
knowing Roister a "glad man." Here was a great danger for a 
less skilful writer than Udall--a danger of marring our enjoyment 
of Merygreeke's part by inserting traits of a finer or grosser bru- 
tality, a danger of spoiling the whole feast by some drop of malice. 
The element of conscious humiliation is absent; the pathetic is 
consequently avoided. 
The other figures of the play are kept in the background ; even 
Custance, and Gawin Goodluck, who comes in at the end of the 
play to give the coup de grace to Roister's foolish hopes. As a 
loyer Goodluck is hardly a success. He is so fish-blooded that, in 
a scene which savours of a judicial procedure, the evidence of Trusty 
becomes necessary before he can be satisfied of the fidelity of his 
1 **Tbese lies are Bke their fatber--gross as a rnountain open palpable." -- Shak. 
• Hen. II/. z, 4- 
 Ward, l.c. calls Roister «Ca vain-glorious, cowardly blockhead of whom the Pyrgo- 
polinkes of Plautus is the prtcise prototype." Tbat his character has some fine points mod- 
elled after the Terentian Thraso, is shown in the notes (cf. especially the last scene). 
Roister's character, indeed, is the least original of the play, but he is not Udall's favourit¢ 
figure. Udall did hot spend as much labour on him as on Merygreeke. 



NicAolas Udall  o3 

betrothed. Goodluck is obviously no Romeo. In the widow ready 
to marry again Udall presents a good study of character. Cus- 
tance is a well-to-do London city-wife of the days of Henry VIII. 
and Edward VI., ruling like a queen over servants who themselves 
are happily introduced and capitally delineated. We imagine her 
neither lean, nor pale, but rather like the wife of Bath--like her., 
resolute and substantial, but more faithful. She is, to a certain 
extent, even shrewd; she enjoys fun,-- after she has been ruade to 
see it,--and she is hot without a touch of sentimentality. 
Indeed, to Custance Udall has assigned the only serious scene in 
the play, Act V., Scene iii. This monologue appears pathetic, and 
sounds like a prayer of innocence, extremely well justified in a 
woman who finds herself surrounded by diFficulties and involved in 
a complication which seems to question her honour. The last 
words of the complaint indicate, however, that Goodluck would 
better hOt doubt too much, because Custance's patience might reach 
a limit, and her natural independence might sharply bring him to 
his senses. 1 She appears in that very scene as the match of Good- 
luck, who will be very happy with her if he gets ber. 
Udall shows his complete superiority over his predecessors in 
these dellneations of character even more than in the creation of 
the plot. Though in the development of the latter everything fits 
together and is arranged in good order and proportion, it is, after 
ail, the dramatis personw that interest us most. Udal]'s persons are 
men and women of flesh and blood, interesting and amusing living 
beings, hot the wax figures of « Sapience" or " Folly," « Virtuous 
Living" or « Counterfet Countenançe." Udall's persons are vastly 
superior to these wooden « dialoguers," whom one feels tobe act- 
ing merely for a school-bred morality, and they !eave the coarse- 
grained but witty figures even of Heywood's farces far behind. 
If anything, his persons show that Udall had studied his Plautus 
and Terence as a clear and sharp observer,  and that he had learned 
from them where the originals for a comedy were tobe found--in 
life, in the actual world surrounding the poet. 
1 Thls possible complication, which would bave ylelded a fine 8cene, seems not to haçe 
occurred to Udall. 
* In this respect even ac uggler deserves credit. I find no trace of Phutus and Ter° 
ence in Heïwood's phi. 



o4 NicAolas Udall 

The l:'resent Text is based upon Arber's reprint of July i, 18691 
which has been carefully collated by Professor Gayley with the 
unique copy in the library of Eton College. The courtesy of 
the librarian, F. XVarre Cornish, M.A. and the other authorities 
of Eton College, is hereby heartily acknowledged. In the pres* 
ent text ail variations from the original are inclosed in brackets. 
But, in uniformity with the regulation adopted for this series, j and 
v have been substituted for i and u when used as consonants, and u 
has been printed for v when used as a vowel. References in the foot- 
notes to previous editions are thus indicated: A., Arber's reprint; 
C., XV. D. Cooper's edition for the Shakespeare Society, z847; 
H., Hazlitt's Dodsley (edition in Vol. III.), Lond. I874 ; M, Pro- 
fessor J. M. Manly's edition in "Specimens of the Pre-Shaksperean 
Drama," Vol. II., Boston I897. References to the Eton copy 
are indicated b¢ E. 

EWALD F'LOGEL. 



ROISTER DOISTER 
B 
lgICHOLAS UDALL 



[The Persons of the Play 

MATHIWE MmI'GIEIKE, his friend. 
Gawm Goo»ecx, London Mercbant, aanced fo Custante. 
TltlSTRaM TltlST'» his friend. 
I)omrET I)ouç.r, «errant to Royster. 
TOM TRUPENIE, servant to Custan¢e. 
S'ra StrtsBv, servant to Goodluck. 
HAReAX and other Musicians in Royster'« «ervire. 
SCRIVENERo 
DAra C.mSTAr CUSTArC, a wealthy widoro. 
MG MUraBL ctusr, ber ald nurse. 
/NNoTTIB/T T.LKALyF.CE/tP/tCE } maids of Custanre. 

THE 8 CENE 
LONDON ] 

 Cf. stage-dlrection, III, iii, 8$, and Appendix B. 
 St. Paul's is mentioned, II, iv, 40 ; Syrn Suresby seems to corne directly om the iand- 
ing place ; the home of Custance might, therefore, safely be located in the Cit.? proper. 



Roister Doister 

The Prologue. 
What Creature is in health, eyther yong or olde, A  
But soin mirth with modestie wil be glad to use 
As we in thys Enterlude shall now unfolde, 
Wherin ail scurilitie we utterly refuse, 
Avoiding such mirth wherin is abuse: 
Knowing nothing more comendable for a mans recreation 
Than Mirth which is used in an honest fashion : 7 
For Myrth prolongeth lyfe, and causeth health. 
Mirth recreates our spirites and voydeth pensivenesse, 
Mirth increaseth amitie, not hindring out wealth, 
Mirth is to be used both of more and lesse 
Being mixed with vertue in decent comlynesse. 
As we trust no good nature can gainsay the saine : 
Which mirth we intende to use, avoidyng ail blame. 14. 
The wyse Poets long time heretofore, 
Under merrie Comedies secretes did declare, 
Wherein was contained very vertuous lore» 
With mysteries and forewarnings very rare. 
Suche to write neither Plautus 1 nor Terence dyd spare» 
Whiche among the learned z at this day beares 8 the bell :4 
These with such other therein dyd excell. 
I Cf. Prol. to ack uggler. 
a Cf. the "lerned men "' in the Prol. to the English Andria» ¢irta aSzo. 
I The northern plural. 
 To be th¢ b¢[[-wethcr» fo excd. 
o7 



o8 Roister Doister 

Out Comedie or Enterlude which we intende to p]ay. 
Is namid Royster Doystir in deede. 
Which against the vayne glorious doth invey, 
Whose humour the roysting sort continually doth feede. 
Thu by your pacience we intende to proceede 
In this our Enterlude by Gods leave and grace, 
And here I take my leave for a certaine space. 

FINIS. 

z8 

Actus. i. Scoena. i. 

MATI-IEWE MEgVCgEEKE. He entreth singing. 

Aï 

As long lyveth the mery man (they say) 1 
As doth the sory man, and longer by a day. 
Yet the Grassehopper for ail his Sommer pipyng, 
Sterveth in XVinter wyth hungrie gripyng, 
Therefore an other sayd sawe doth men advise, 5 
That they be together both mery and wise. 
Thvs Lesson must I practise, or else ere long, 
XVyth mee .\lathew Merygreeke z it will be wrong. 
In deede men so call me, for by him that us bought, 
Vhat ever chaunce betide, I can take no thought, IO 
Yet wisedome woulde that I did my selfe bethinke 
XVhere to be provided this day of meate and drinke : 
For knowe a ye that for ail this merie note of mine, 
He might appose  me now that should aske where I dine. 
Mv lyving lieth heere and there, of Gods grace, 15 
Sometime wyth this good man, sometyme in that place, 
Sometime Lewis Loytrer 5 biddeth me come neere, 
Somewhyles XVatkin XVaster maketh us good cheere 
Cf. Camden's Pra.verbs, p. 264 ; Ray's Pra.verbs p. 13 z. 
Roger bon zemps : a mad rascal, a merry gr¢ek ; Gringalet : a merry grig . . . rogu etc. 
(Cotgrave). 
A. has ' know.' 
Sec Lie ili ca Lie, Dodsley, 3 : 337" 
Cf. Robert the Ryfelar etc. in Pierce Plvman i Peter Picbaker» etc» in Tberfft¢ 
Mar$ery Myiketluck% etc.» in Skekon. 



sc. ,] Roister Doister  o9 

Sometime Davy Diceplayer 1 when he bath well cast 
Keepeth revell route as long as it will last. 2o 
Sometime Tom Titivile 2 maketh us a feast, 
Sometime with sir Hugh Pye I ara a bidden gueast, 
Sometime at Nichol Neverthrives I get a soppe, 
Sometime I am feasted with Bryan Blinkinsoppe, a 
Sometime I hang on Hankyn 4 Hoddydodies sleeve, 25 
But thys day on Ralph Royster Doysters by hys leeve. 
For truely of all men he is my chiefe banker 
Both for meate and money, and my chiefe shootanker. 
For, sooth Roister Doister in that he doth say,  
And require what ye will ye shall have no nay. 30 
But now of Roister Doister somewhat to expresse, A iii 
That ye may esteeme him after hys worthinesse, 
In these twentie townes and seke them throughou h 
Is not the like stocke, whereon to graffe a loute. 
Ail the day long is he facing 7 and craking s 35 
Of his great actes in fighting and fraymaking : 
But when Roister Doister is put to his proofe, 
To keepe the Qeenes  peace is more for his behoofe. 
If any woman smyle or cast on hym an eye, 
Up is he to the harde eares in love by and by, 40 
And in ail the hotte baste must she be hvs wife, 
Else farewell hys good days, and fareweli his life 
Maister Raufe Royster Doyster is but dead and gon 
Excepte she on hym take some compassion, 
Then chiefe of counsell, must be Mathew Merygreeke, 45 
What if I for mariage to suche an one seeke . 

Cf. Mooe's lines to Daw/the dycer (14i'orks, p. '433*)"  See Appendix C. 
Cf. Ben Jonson's Ne Inn, II. il. 
Cf. Hankin boby in Tloers)'tes ; Handy-dandy in P. Plooman ; Huddy-peke in Four 
Elements in Skelton, etc. ; lb. hoddy poule (  "dunder-head,'" Dyce). 
«* This ointment is even shot-anchor," Heyxvood's Four PP. ( - last oesort). 
Cf. I1. 47 49 ; for the v¢hole scene cf. Plautus, lliles Glor. v.  soEoE.: Et adentandums, 
uicŒEuid hic mentibitur ; also Ter. Eunucbu, Il. ii, zSz et seoE. 
Cf. Palsgrave 54 z : " I face as one dothe that brauleth." s boasting. 
oOf course «kinges' if written befor July 7, '55; probably changed to *Queen" 
Elizabeth) by the printer. (Fleay conjectures Hist. $tage, p. 59, that R. D. was revived 
Match 8, $6t i the phl¢ having been rewrltten from an Edv¢ard VI. intedude. Gen. Ed.) 



II0 

Roister Doister 

[ACT.! 

Then must I sooth it, what ever it is: 
For what he sayth or doth can not be amisse, 
Holde up his yea and nay, be his nowne  white 2 sonne, 
Prayse and rouse him well, and ye have his heart wonne, 5o 
For so well liketh he his owne fonde fashions 
That he taketh pride of false commendations. 
But such sporte have I with him as I would not leese, 
Though I should be bounde to lyve with bread and cheese. 
For exalt hym, and have hvm as ye lust in deede: 55 
Yea to hold his finger in a hole for a neede. 
I can with a worde make him favne or loth, 
I can with as much make him pieased or wroth, 
I can when I will make him mery and glad, 
I can when me lust make him sory and sad, 6o 
I can set him in hope and eke in dispaire, 
I can make him speake rough, and make him speake faire. 
But I marvell I see hym hot ail thys same day, 
I wyll seeke him out: But loe he commeth thys way, 
I have yond 
And in love 

espied hym sadly comming, A iii/, 6 5 
for twentie pounde, by hys glommyng. 

R. Royster. 
Pl. A/lery. 
R. Royster. 
2I. A4ery. 
R. Royster. 
2I. Mery. 
R. Roister. 

Actus. i. Scoena. ii. 
RAFE ROS'rER DO,SrR. MA'rrw MRïCREZ. 
Come death when thou wilt, I am weary of my lire. 
I roide you I, we should wowe another wife. 
Vhy did God make me suche a goodly person ? 
He is in a by the weke, we shall have sport anon. 
And where is my trustie friende Mathew Merygreeke ? 5 
I wyll make as I sawe him not, he doth me seeke. 
I have hym espyed me thinketh, yond is hee, 
Hough Mathew Merygreeke my friend, a worde with thee. 4 
1 The ' n ' transferred fi'om ' myrte" (my nowne). Cf. nuncle, etc. 
a Cf. Like zviii to Like, 329 ; Leland calls Udall ni'veum.., sodalera ; Cooper'a ed. XXVll. 
$ Heywood's Pro. ; Lear, V. iii, ! 5" 
• R. R. D. addresses M. with ' thou" ' thee,' whereas )f. uses-- on the whole-- « you 
• (fo R. R. D.) ; cf. Skeat's IP'iiliara of Palerne, XLI. note ; Zupitza's Guy, v. 356» not 



SC. 11] Roister Doister  i 1 

M. Mery. I wyll not heare him, but make as I had haste, 
Farewell all my good friendes, the tyme away dothe waste, to 
And the tide they say, tarieth for no man. 
R. Roister. Thou must with thy good counsell helpe me if thou 
2an. 
111. lllery. God keepe thee worshypfull Maister Roister Doister, 
And fare well the lustie Maister Roister Doister. 
R. Royster. I muste needes speake with thee a worde or twaine. 15 
114. lllery. Within a month or two I will be here againe, 
Negligence in greate affaires ye knowe may marre ail. 
R. Roister. Attende upon me now, and well rewarde thee I shall. 
111. Mery. I bave take my leave, and the tide is well spent. 
R. Rohter. I die except thou helpe, I pray thee be content, 20 
Doe thy parte wel nowe, and aske what thou wilt, 
For without thy aide mv" matter is ail spilt. 
M. llIery. Then to serve your turne I will some paines take, 
And let ail myne owne affaires alone for gour sake. 
R. Royster. My whole hope and trust resteth onely in thee. 25 
M. Mery. Then can ye hOt doe amisse what ever it bee. 
R. Royster. Gramercies Merygreeke, most bounde to thee I am. A 
M. Mery. But up with that heart, and speake out like a ramme, 
Ye speake like a Capon that had the cough now : 
Bee of good cheere, anon ye shall doe well ynow. 3 ° 
R. Roysttr. Upon thy comforte, I will ail things well handle. 
M. Mtry. So loe, that is a breast to blowe out a candle. 
But what is this great matter I woulde faine knowe, 
We shall fynde remedie therefore I trowe. 
Doe ye lacke money ? ye knowe myne olde offers, 35 
Ye bave always a key to my purse and coffers. 
R. Royster. I thanke thee: had ever man suche a frende ? 
M. Mery. Ye gyve unto me: I must needes to you lende. 
R. Royster. Nay I bave money plentie ail things to discharge. 1 
111. Mery [aside]. That knewe I ryght well when I made offer so 
large. 40 
R. Royster. But it is no suche matter2 
1 Cf. Mlles, v. t 063- 
 The tiret hall line i hot assigned to/. R. D. in E. and A. i but it should be. Gon. Bd. 



I I 2 Roister Doister [^CT., 

M. Mery. What is it than ? 
Are ye in daunger of debte to any man .7 
If ye be, take no thought nor be hot afraide, 
Let them hardlv I take thought how they shall be paide. 
R. Royster. "Fut I owe nought. 45 
I. lIerv, x.Vhat then ? fear ye imprisonment ? 
R. Rorster. No. 
I. Iery. No I wist ve offende not so, z tobe shent. 
But if [y]e a had, the Toute coulde hot you so holde, 
But to breake out at ail rimes ye would be bolde. 
x.Vhat is it ? bath anv man threatned you to beate ? 
R. Roster. x.Vhat is he that durst have put me in that heate ? _5o 
He that beateth me, bv his armes,  shall well fynde, 
That I will hOt be farre from him nor runne behinde. 
I. lIery. That thing knowe ail men ever since ye overthrewe, 
The fellow of the Lion which Hercules slewe.  
But what is it than ? 55 
R. Royster. Of love I make my mone. 
I. I«ry. Ah this foolishe a s love, wilt neare let us alone? 
But bicause ye were refused the last day, 
Ye said ye woulde nere more be intangled that way: 
"I would medle no more, since I fynde ail so unkinde,"  
R. Royster. Yea, but I can hot so put love out of my minde. 60 
A4ath. hier. But is vour love tell me first, in any wise, A i,  
In the way of Mariage, or of Merchandise ? 
If it may otherwise than lawfull be founde, 
Ye get none of my belpe for an hundred pounde. 
R. Royster. No by my trouth I would have hir to my XVife. 65 
A4. A4ery. Then are ye a good man, and God save your life, 
And what or who is she, with whome ye are in love ? 
R. Royster. 

A woman whome I knowe not by what meanes to move. 

certainly ; cf. ' hardily,' Chauc. C. T. Prd. v. I56. 
E. bas the comma after ' offende.' 
E. mispfints be for ' ye' ; corrected by C. and H. 
An oath = by God's armes ; cf. V. ri, 
Cf. Tb«rsytes, Dodsley, , 4o 3. 
Cf. Phil,Soc. Dict. s.r. Aprep.  II ; C. and H. dr0p the Ca." 
The quotation marks are the editor's. 



sc. ,,] Roister Doister  13 

11/I. ]bIery. 
R. Royster. 
11/I. ll,Iery. 
R. Royster. 
11,I. ll,Iery. 
R. Royster. 
llI. ll,Iery. 

Who is it ? 
A woman yond. 
What is hir name ? 
Hir yonder. 
Mistresse ah  
Fy fy for shame [!] 

7o 

Love ye, and know hot whome ? but hir yonde, a Woman, 
We shail then get vou a Vyfe, I can not tell whan. 
R. Royster. The faire Voman, that supped wyth us yesternyght-- 
And I hearde hir name twice or thrice, and had it ryght. 
M. ]bIery. Yea, ye may see ye nere  take me to good cheere with 
you, 75 
If ye had, I coulde have tolde you hir name now. 
R. Royster. I was to blame in deede, but the nexte tyme per- 
chaunce : 
And she dwelleth in this house. 
lI. lIery. What Christian Custance. 
R. Royster. Except I have hir to my vite, I shall runne madde. 
1I. lIery. Nay unwise perhaps but 1 warrant you for madde. 80 
R. Royster. I am utterlv dead unlesse I bave mv desire. 
Al. klery. Where be trie bellowes that blewe tlis sodeine tire ? 
R. Royster. I heare she is worthe a thousande pounde and more. 
1. llery. Yea, but iearne this one lesson of me afore, 
An hundred pounde of Marriage money doubtlesse, 85 
Is ever thirtie pounde sterlyng, or somewhat lesse, 
So that hir Thousande pounde yf she be thriftie, 
Is muche neere 3 about two hundred and fiftie, 
Howebeit wowers and Widowes are never poore. 
R. Royster. Is she a Vidowe? 4 I love hir better therefore. 9 ° 
kl./14'ery. But I heare she hath made promise to another. 
R. Royster. He shall goe without hir, and 5 he were my brother. 
11/I. lIery. I bave hearde say, I am right well advised, 
That she hath to Gawvn Goodlucke promised. 
R. Royster. Vhat is that (awyn Goodlucke ? Bi 95 
1 F..j ' Whom." 8 Midd|e EngL comparative ; cf. nearj ne% etc. 
 never i C. 'ne're" i H., 'ne'er.' 4 Cf. Plautus /iiiAes, 965.  'an.' 



 4 Roister Doister [^., 

A/. A//ery. a Merchant man. 
R. Royster Shall he speede afore me ? nay sir by sweete Sainct 
Arme. 
Ah sir, Backare quod Mortimer to his sowe, 1 
I wyll have hir myrte owne selfe I make Goal a vow. 
For I tell thee, she is worthe a thousande pounde. 
I. lery. Yet a fitter wife for your maship-" might be founde : xoo 
Suche a goodly man as you, might get one wyth lande,a 
Besides poundes of golde a thousande and a thousande, 
And a thousande, and a thousande, and a thousande, 
And so to the summe of twentie hundred thousande, 
Your most goodly personage is worthie of no lesse. 
R. Royster. I ara sorie God ruade me so comely doubtlesse, 
For that maketh me eche where so highly favoured, 
And ail women on me so enamoured. 6 
A/./l/ery. Enamoured quod you ? have ye spied out that ? 
Ah sir, mary nowe I see you know what is what. I xo 
Enamoured ka ? ; mary sir say that againe, 
But I thought not ye had marked it so plaine. 
R. Royster. Yes, eche where they gaze ail upon me and stare. 
114. ll.Iery Yea malkyn, I warrant you as touche as they dare. 
And ye will hOt beleve what they say in the streete, 
When your mashyp passeth by ail such as I meete, 
That sometimes I can scarce nde what aunswere to make. 
Who is this (sayth one) sir Launcelot du lake? 
XVho is this, greate Guy 9 of ,Varwike, sayth an other 
No (say I) it is the thirtenth Hercules brother, lzo 
Who is this ? noble Hector of Troy, sayth the thirde 
No, but of the saine nest (say I) it is a birde. 
a Cf. I-leywood'$ Proqa«rbs, I. ch. xx {7z); ]oo Epigramt, 158. 
a mastersbit ; ste I. IX6, etc. ; cf. «ientman,' III. v» $ i «gemman»' etc. 
s Cf. Plaut. Miles 1o6I. 
 Cf. lb. : Neu ecastor nimis uillst tandem. 
 Cf. ch. 68, et passim ; and Terent. Eunucb. V. viii 6z. 
 Cf. Plaut. ltiles  z64, and the whole of the first scene. 
7Cf. «Ko I»' « Ko she,' III. iii, z, "51 « Ko you,' III. iv I' 
« Die Ke-tha ?"  company quotha ?' Four Elements [Dodsley» 1| 
 Cf. Tberites, [Dodsley, , 399, 4°°]- 
9 E., ' Cuy." 



. ,,] Roister Doister  15 

Who is this? greate Goliah, 8ampson, or Colbrande. 1 
No (say I) but it is a brute S of the Alie a lande. 
Who is this? greate 241exander?  or Charle le Maigne? 
No, it is the tenth Worthie, say I to them agayne: 
I knowe hot if I sayd well. 
R. Royster. Yes for so I ara. 
M. Mery. Yea, for there were but nine worthies before ye 
came. 
To some others, the third Cato I doe you call. 
And so as well as I can I aunswere them ail. x3 ° 
Sir I pray you, what lorde or great gentleman is this 
Maister Ralph Roister Doister dame say I, ywis. 
O Lorde (sayth she than) what a goodly man it is, 
Woulde Christ I had such a husbande as he is. 
O Lorde (say some) that the sight of his face we lacke 
It is inough for you (say I) to see his backe. 
His face is for ladies of high and noble parages. 
Wïth whome he hardly scapeth great mariages. 
With touche more than this, and much otherwise. 
R. Royster. I can thee thanke that thou canst suche answeres de- 
vise : x 40 
But I perceyve thou doste me throughly knowe. 
114. Mery. I marke your maners for myne owne learnyng I trowe, 
But suche is your beautie, and suche are your actes, 
Suche is your personage, and suche are your factes 
That ail women faire and fowle, more and less, 
They9 eye you, they lubbel° )'ou, they talke of you doubt- 
lesse, 

dialmlicae smurae ; ee Guy of Waric, v. 994"5, etc. 
Bruu of the British, Welsh or Arthurian story, hence generally a hero [Murray]. 
« Aile ' = Hali, Haly, Holy ? or Alye = a.ni = of the neighbouring country 
Cf. Plaut. Miks, 777 ; Achilles, ib. 
Tertius • caeio cecidit Cao Juven. Bat. 2, 4o. 
Cf'. Plaut. Miles 65. 
Cf. *'a prince ofhighe parage," Cbester Piays, t *57- 
Cf. Caxton's *' faytes of armes'" (Pro/. Eneydos), the M. L. «' facta guerrae, armorum." 
E. 'They' (hOt' That" as A. reads). 
love ; cf. III. iv, 99- Baby-talk ? or the language of the Dutch ' minions' ? Hazfitt 
: a colloquialism still in use. But the dictionaries are filent. 



 16 Roister Doister 

Your p[l] easant looke maketh them ail merle, 
Ye passe not by, but they laugh till they be werie, 
Yea and money coulde I bave I,] tue truthe to tell, 
Of many, to bryng you that way where they dwell. 5o 
R. Royster. Merygreeke for this thy reporting well of mee: 
Pl. «llery. What shoulde I else sir, it is my duetie pardee: 
R. Royster. I promise thou shalt not lacke, while I have a grote. 
Pl. «Iery. Faith sir, and I nere had more nede of a newe cote. 
R. Royster. Thou shalte have one to morowe, and golde for to 
spende. I 5 5 
I. 1ery. Then I trust to bring tue day to a good ende. 
For as for mine owne parte having money inowe, 
I could lyre onely with tue remembrance of you. 
But nowe to vour x.Vidowe whome vou love so hotte. 
R. Royster. Bv cozke thou savest truthe,  had almost forgotte. 6o 
I. Iery. x.Vhat if Christian Custance will not bave you what ? 
R. Roister. Have me ? yes I warrant you, 1 never doubt of that, 
I knowe she loveth me, but she dare not speake. B ii 
3. Iery. In deede meete it were some body should it breake. 
R. RoUter. She looked on me twentie tymes yesternight, 165 
And laughed so. 
Pl. ll,lery. That sue coulde not sitte upright, 
R. RoUter. No faith coulde sue hot. 
Pl. lIery. No even such a thing I cast. 2 
R. Roister. But for wowyng thou knowest women are shamefast. 
But and sue knewe my minde, I knowe sue would be glad, 
And thinke it the best chaunce that ever she had.  7 ° 
PI. l[ery. Too a hir then like a man, and be bolde forth to starte, 
,Vowers never speede well, that have a false harte. 
R. RoUter. X.Vhat may I best doe ? 
I. lll«ry. Sir remaine ye a while [here 4] ? 
Ere long one or other of hir bouse will appere. 
Ye knowe my minde. 175 

R. uses ' you" ; cf. I. ii, 8. 
Cf. Palsgrave, 4-', "Je revolve.'" 
|Cf. I. iv, iii, etc., C. & H. 'To.' 
Not in E. ; added by 12. In E., the comma i$ after ' while." 



sc. '"1 Roister Doister 117 

R. Royster. Yea now hardly 1 lette me alone. 
114. IIlery. In the meane time sir, if you please, I wyll home, 
And call your Musitians,  for in this your case 
It would sette you forth, and ail your wowyng grace, 
Ye may hot lacke your instrumentes to play and sing. 
R. Rov»ter. Thou knowest I can doe that. 18o 
1l'I. II[ery. As well as any thing. 
Shall I go call your folkes, that ye may shewe a cast ?a 
R. Royster. Yea runne I beseeche thee in ail possible haste. 
I. )lery. I goe. Exeat. 
R. Royster. Yea for I love singyng out of measure, 
It comforteth my spirites and doth me great pleasure. 18 5 
But who commeth forth yond from my swete hearte Cs- 
tance ? 
My matter frameth well, thys is a luckie chaunce. 

Actus. i. Scoena iii. 

MAe Mu/m. CRUS', 4 spinning on tbe distaffC TiIET TALK PC, «ow- 
yng. ANNOV ALWCE, knittyng. R. ROISTER. 

kI. lumbl. If thys distaffe were spoonne[,] Margerie Mumble- 
Tib. Talk. 5 Vhere good stale aie is will drinke no water I trust. 
iii. iiIumbl. Dame Custance bath promised us good aie and white 
bread.  
Tib. Talk. Ifshe kepe not promise, I will beshrewe hir head :  
But it will be starke nyght before I shall have done. 
R. Royster [aside]. I will stande here a while, and talke with them 
0 

 Cf. I. il, 44 ; IV. vi, 7. 
l Cf. Reinhardtoettner, Plautus, etc., 67 : a1itano 81aqaento iene on !i musici 1erfar 
una mattinata a Isabella. 
 specimen. 
 On Mumblecrust, etc. sec Appendix D. 
 lnterrupting Mage. 
s Better rare than usual, $¢¢ Harrison's Description of EngL in Holinshed's Cbron. I 
a68 (ed. 



Roister Doister 

[ACT. ! 

I heare them speake of Custance, which doth my heart good, 
To heare hir naine spoken doth even comfort my blood. 
M. )klumbl. Sit downe to your worke Tibet like a good girle. 
Tib. Talk. Nourse medle you with your spyndle and your whirle, !o 
No haste but good, Madge Mumblecrust, for whip and whurre  
The olde proverbe doth say, never ruade good furre. 
)ll. MumbL Well, ye wyll sitte downe to your worke anon, I 
trust. 
Tib. Talk. Soft tire maketh sweete malte = good Madge Mumble- 
crust. 
)l/l. MumbL And sweete malte maketh joly good ale for the 
nones. 15 
Tib. Talk. Vhiche will slide downe the lane without any bones. 
Cantet. 8 
Olde browne bread crustes must bave much good mumblyng, 
But good ale downe your throte hath good easie tumbling. 
R. Roycter [acide]. The jolyest wench that ere I hearde, little 
mouse, -- 
May I hot rejoice that she shall dwel! in my house? 2o 
Tib. Talk. So sirrha, nowe this geare beginneth for to freine. 
.M. Æumbl. Thanks to God though your work stand stil your 
tong is not lame 
Tib. Talk. And though your teeth be gone both so sharpe and so 
fine 
Yet your tongue can renne on patins 4 as well as mine. 
1]/[. l]/[umbl. Ye were hot for nought named Tyb Talke apace. 2 5 
Tib. TML Doth my talke grieve you ? Alack God save your 
grace. 
)l. )lumbl. I holde 6 a grote ye will drinke anon for this geare. 
Tib. TMk. And I wyll pray you the stripes for me to beare. 

I Noce the [ondness for proverbs a trait taken frDm lire and offert to be round in htet phys. 
-- Sherwood : To whurre, whurle (or yarre) as a dog, Gronder comme un chien. oopet : 
scoldlng. It i perhaps = whirr, whirrer (shshing, slash) ? 
a Cf. III. ;;;, oz ; Heywood's Proverbe, I, ch. z (p. 6); Camden's Pro*¢rb, .Tf 
77» etc. 
• Apparently w. 7, 8. 
 Heywood'a Pro,crbs» z» ch. 7- Patten : a woodea shoe that ruade a great chttering. 
6 Wager i cf. G. G. Af.» I. iii» zo i I. iv» 47. 



.c. ,,,] Roister Doister  9 

114. MumbL I holde a penny, ye will drlnk without a cup. 
Tib. Talk. Wherein so ere ye drinke, I wote ye drinke ail up. 3o 
AIn. 2¢lyface. a By Cock and well sowed, my good Tibet Talke 
apace. 
Tib. Talk. And een as well knitte my nowne Annot Alyface. 
R. Royster [aside]. See what a sort she kepeth that must be my 
wife[!] 
Shall not I when I bave hir, leade a merrie life ? 
Tib. Talk. Welcome my good wenche, and sitte here by me just. 35 
2¢n. 2¢lyface. And howe doth our old beldame here, Mage Mumble- 
crust ? 
Tib. Talk. Chyde, and finde faultes, and threaten to complaine. 
2¢n. 2¢lyface. To make us poore girles shent to hir is small gaine. B iii 
A/I. A/IumbL I dyd neyther chyde, nor complaine, nor threaten. 
R. Royster [aside]. It woulde grieve my heart to see one of them 
beaten. 4o 
)PI. A/Iumbl. I dyd nothyng but byd hir worke and holde hir peace. 
Tib. Talk. $o would I, if you coulde your clattering ceasse: 
But the devill can not make olde trotte 9. holde hir tong. 
Cn. 2¢lyface. Let all these matters passe, and we three sing a song, 
So shall we pleasantly bothe the tyme beguile now, 45 
And eke dispatche ail our workes ere we can tell how. 
Tib. Talk. I shrew them that say nay, and that shall not be I. 
iii./llumbl. And I am well content. 
Tib. Talk. Sing on then by and by. 
R. Royster_[aside]. And I will hot away, but listen to their song, 
Yet Merygreeke and my folkes tary very long. So 
Tre, Ar, and MARC;ERIE, doe singe here. 
Pipe mery Annot. a etc. 
Trilla, Trilla. Trillarie. 
Worke Tibet, worke Annot, worke Margerie. 
Sewe Tibet, knitte Annot, spinne Margerie. 
Let us see who shall winne the victorie. .ç.ç 

a entetlng. 
 Sht'rwood : Une ieilk cbarougne. A tough toothlesse trot, etc. 
| The saine ong ia alluded to in .d porc Helpe (,Hazfitt'8 Early Pop. Poetry, 3, 



 -o Roister Doister [A«., 

Tib. Talk. This sleve is not wiilyng to be sewed I trowe, 
A small thing might make me ail in the grounde to throwe. 

Tben tbey sin K agayne. 

Pipe merrie Annot. etc. 
Trilla. Trilla. Trillarie. 
What Tibet, what Annot, what Margerie. 6o 
Ye sleepe, but we doe hOt, that shall we trie. 
Your fingers be nombde, our worke wili not lie. 
Tib. Talk. If ye doe so againe, well I would advise you nay. 
In good sooth one stoppe i more, and I make holy day. 
Tbey singe tbe tbirde tyme. 
Pipe Mery Annot. etc. 65 
Triila. Trilla. Triilarie. 
Nowe Tibbet, now Annot, nowe Margerie. B iii b 
Nowe whippet z apace for the maystrie, 
But it wili not be, out mouth is so drie. 

Tib. Talk. Ah, eche finger is a thombe to day me thinke, 
I care hot to let all alone, choose it swimme or sinke. 

70 

Tbey ffng tbe fourtb tyme. 
Pipe Mery Annot. etc. 
Trilla. Trilla. Trillarie. 
When Tibet, when Annot, when Margerie. 
I wili not, I can not, no more can I. 75 
Then give we ail over, and there let it lye. 
Lette bir caste downe bir worke. 

Tib. Talk. There it iieth, the worste is but a curried cote 
Tut I ara used therto, I care not a grote. 

 dtch. 
a Cf. obippit (in Halfiwell) : tojump about, etc. In// Treatrse sbe'wlng.., tbe Pry 
and Abuse  men No a Da)'es (c. 155o ) : ,, With whipt a whyle lytfle 
Pnncke içd hagge it woe" etc. 
n E. h 



sc..q Roister Doister  21 

Cn. /llyface. Have we done singyng since ? then will I in againe, 
Here I founde you, and here I leave both twaine. Exeat. 
114. llumbL And I will hot be long after: Tib Talke apace. 
Tib. Talk. Vhat is y matter ? 
J4. Iumbl. [looking at R.]. Yond stode a man al this space 
And hath hearde ail that ever we spake togyther. 
Tib. Talk. Mary the more loute he for his comming hither. 
And the lesse good he can to listen maidens talke. 8 5 
I care hOt and I go bvd him hence for to walke: 
It were well done to knowe w.hat he maketh here away. 1 
t. toyster [aside]. Nowe myght I speake to them, if I wist what 
to say. 
ll. llumbL Nay we will go both off, and see what he is. 
R. Royster. One that hath hearde ail your talke and singyng 
ywis. 9o 
Tib. Talk. The more to blame you, a good thriftie husbande 2 
Woulde elsewhere have had some better matters in bande. 
R. Royster. I dyd it for no harme, but for good love I beare, 
To your dame mistresse Custance, I did your talke heare. 
And Mistresse nource I will kisse you for acquaintance. 95 
Jl. J4umbL I corne anon sir. 
Tib. Talk. Faith I would our dame Custance 
Sawe this geare. 
Jl. llumbL I must first wipe al cleane, yea I must. 
Tib. Talk. III chieue 3 it dotyng foole, but it must be cust. 
[RoYsTER kisses MUMBLECRUST.] 
M. MumbL God yelde4 you sir, chad s hot so much ichotteS hot 
whan, 
Nere since chwas bore chwine, of such a gay gentleman, loo 
R. Royster. I will kisse you too [,] mayden [,] for the good will I 
beare you. B i* 
I Murray'a earliest quota6on for « hert away»" etc» is from t 56¢. 
 Sherwood : Bon raesnaKier.  bring to an end. 
 yieid it you = reward. 
 I had; 1 mot. The dialect (generally southern, but occasionally also northern) used 
by rustic characters in the earlier plays; e.g. in G. G. 1V. Trial of Treasure Lie *aill u 
Lie» etc. 



I  Roister Doister [^c,.  

Tib Talk. No forsoth, by your leave ye shall not kisse me. 
R. Royster. Yes be not afearde, I doe not disdayne you a whit. 
Tib. Talk. ,Vhy shoulde I feare you ? I have hot so little wit, 
Ye are but a man I knowe very well. o 5 
R. Royster. ,Vhy then ? 
71b. Talk. Forsooth for I wyll hOt, I use hot to kisse men. 
R. Rovster. I would faine kisse you too good maiden, if I myght. 
Fb. 'alk. ,Vhat shold that neede ? 
R. Royster. But to honor you by this light. 
I use to kisse ail them that I love[,] to God I vowe. 
Tib. TalC. Yea sir? I pray you when dyd ye last kisse your 
cowe. 1 I I0 
R. Royster. Ye might be proude to kisse me, if ye were wise. 
Tib. Talk. What promotion were therein ? 
R. Royster. Nourse is hOt so nice. z 
Tib. Talk. Well I have not bene taught to kissing and licking. 
R. Royster. Yet I thanke you mistresse Nourse, ye made no stick- 
ing. 
114. A4umbl. I will not sticke for a kosse with such a man as 
you. 1 15 
Tib. TalL They that lust: I will againe to my sewyng now. 
Cn. /ily)rac[e, re-entering]. Tidings hough, tidings, dame Custance 
greeteth you well. 
R. Royster. Whome me ? 
Cn. /Ilyface. You sir ? no sir ? I do no suche tale tell. 
R. Royster. But and she knewe me here. 
Cn. /Ilyface. Tybet Talke apace, 
Your mistresse Custance and mine, must speake with your 
grace. 
Tib. Talk. With me ? 
/]n. /Ilyface. Ye muste come in to hir out of ail doutes. 
Tib. Talk. And my work hOt half done? A mischief on ail 
loutes. Ex[eant] ambae.] 
R. Royster. Ah good sweet nourse 
M. Mumb. A good sweete gentleman [!] 
1 Cf. G. G. N. *. * * i Heywood Pro.  ch. 7 i Camden» Pro. 68. 
• mincing» coy. 



sc. ] Roister Doister x z3 

R. Royster. What ? 
114. A4umbL Nay I can not tel sir, but what thing would you ? 
R. Royster. Howe dothe sweete Custance, my heart of gold, tel 
me [,] how ? 1 2 5 
A/I. MumbL She dothe ver)" well sir and commaunde me to you. 
R. Royster. To me ? 
114. A1umbL Yea to you sir. 
R. Royster. To me ? nurse tel me plain 
To me ? 
114. ll4umb. Ye. 
R. Royster. That word maketh me alive again. 
114. A4umbL She commaunde me to one last day who ere it was. 
R. Royster. That was een to me and none other by the Masse. 3o 
M. MumbL I can not tell you surely, but one it was. 
R. Royster. It was I and none other: this commeth to good passe. 
I promise thee nourse I favour hir. 

R. Royster. 
Al. MumbL 
R. Royster. 
AI. A4umb. 
R. Royster. 
M. Mumb. 
R. Royster. 
AI. Alumb. 
R. Royster. 
Al1. Mumb. 

Een so sir. 
Bid hir sue to me for mariage. 
Een so sir. 
And surely for thy sake she shall speede. 
Een so sir. 
I shall be contented to take hir. 
Een so sir. 
But at thy request and for thy sake. 
Een so sir. 
And corne hearke in thine eare what to say. 
Een so sir. 

Here lette him 

tell hir a great long tale in hir eare.l 

Bivb 

1 C£ the whlsperlng cene in the Trial of Treasur¢. 



x o- 4 Roister Doister C^cT.I 

Actus. i. Scoena. iiii. 

MA'nEw MER'CRttKt. Do1Nt" Dovcn'IE. HAR,x [and Mudtiam 
entering]. RaLPH ROYSTER. MaRGERIE MUMBLECRUST Otillon 
tbe scene, wbipering]. 
. Iery. Corne on sirs apace, and quite your selves like men, 
Your pains shalbe rewarded. 
D. Dou. But I wot hot when. 
kI. 3Ieq. Do vour maister worsbip as ye bave done in rime past. 
D. Dough. Speke to them : of mine oce he shall have a cast. 
3I. l,Ieq. Harpax,  looke that thou doe well too, and thy fellow. 5 
Harpax. I warrant, if he will myne example folowe. 
kI. Ileq. Curtsie whooresons, douke you and crouche at every 
worde, 
D. Dough. Yes whether out maister speake earnest or borde. 
31. 3lery. For this lieth upon his preferment in deede. 
D. Dough. Oft is hee a wower, but never doth he speede. IO 
I. fleq. But with whome is he nowe so sadly roundyng yond ? 
D. Dough. Vith $bs nicebecetur miserere  fonde. 
[31.] Iery [approaching R. R.]. God be at your wedding,  ye 
spedde alredie ? 
I did not suppose that your love was so greedie, 
I perceive nowe ye have chose  of devotion, I  
And joy bave ye ladie of your promotion. 
R. Rovster. Tushe foole, thou art deceived, this is hot she. 
I. eq. Vell mocke  muche of hir, and keepe hir well I vise  
I will take no charge of such a faire piece keeping. 
kI. IumbL Vhat ayleth thys fellowe ? he driveth me to weep- 
ing. 2o 
 Cf. the shve of Polymachphgi&s n Plaut. Pseudolu,. 
 Hmfi : intentio nonoenoe r « nobi, mi*cebetur [ ] miurere." Lrgic wos mut- 
tere inncy an  heoe jocly. He: "tweene you and your Ginifi 
Nycebecetur" (Pro. * » ch. * G P- $7 = ' Wt's her naine ?' Nescio uid dicitur ). 
Cf. «ke," . v $ an ke,' III. i» ]. 
 make (Hazli).  ai, adioe. 



»c. ,,,,] Roister Doister  z5 

114. AIery. What weepe on the weddyng day ? be merrie woman, 
Though I say it, ye have chose a good gentleman. 
R. Royster. Kocks nownes 1 what meanest thou man[?] tut a 
whistle2[!] 
[M. A4ery.]  Ah sir, be good to hir, she is but a gristle, 4 c i 
Ah sweete lambe and coney. 2 5 
R. Royster. Tut thou art deceived. 
M. Mery. Veepe no more lady, ye shall be well received. 
Up wyth some mery noyse sirs, to bring home the bride. 5 
R. Royster. Gogs armes knave, art thou madde ? I tel thee thou 
art wide. « 
M. A4ery. Then ye entende by nyght to bave hir home brought. 
R. Royster. I tel thee no. 3 o 
I. A4ery. How then ? 
R. Royster. Tis neither ment ne thought. 
M. Iery. XVhat shall we then doe with hir ? 
R. Royster. Ah foolish harebraine, 
This is hot she. 
M. ]Plery. No is ? r why then unsayde againe, 
And what yong gifle is this with your mashyp so bolde ? 
R. Royster. A girle ? 
M. Mery. Yea. I dare say, scarce yet three score yere old. 34 
R. Royster. This same is the faire widowes nourse ofwhome ve wotte. 
114. ll4ery. Is she but a nourse of a house ? hence home ointe trotte, 
Hence at once. 
R. Royster. No, no. 
114. ll4ery. Vhat an please your maship 
A nourse talke so homely 8 with one of your worship ? 

 R.'e oaths are generally not so strong ; I count in G. G. N. 4 8 oathsbeginn]ng with, By 
Gog'« Cocks etc. 
 For the rhyme's sake i cf. Wilson's Rbetorifue, 202 : Ret;cencia A whisht or warning 
to speake no more. 
8 These lines are assigned to R. in E. 
* Cf. Sherwood : Grison, gray with age, . . . grizle. 
 This part of the scene is the reverse of Plaut. Aliles, v. Iooo ,er., where Pal. bas difli- 
culfies in keeping Pyrg. ffom falling in love with the servant. 
«Cf. G. G. N. p. 252. 
 ' Is it not she ?' cf. v. 88 ; II. iv, '4. Elliptlcal construction» cf. Heywood» oban, 
il. z6 and 624. s friendly (Cotgr.). 



 26 Roister Doister CAcT., 

R. Royster. I will have it so: it is my pleasure and will. 
34. 34ery. Then I am content. Nourse corne againe, tarry still. 
R. Royster. ,Vhat, she will helpe forward this my sute for hir part. 
34. Alery. Then ist mine owne pygs nie,  and blessing on my 
hart. 
R. Royster. This is our best friend[,] man 
I. Mery. Then teach hir what to say 
I. Iumbl. I ara taught alreadie. 
1I. llery. Then go, make no delay. 
R. Royster. Yet hark one word in thine eare. 45 
I. A4ery [Dobinet, etc., press on Royster, who pushes them back]. Back 
sirs from his talle. 
R. Royster. Backe vilaynes, will ye be privie of my counsaile 
M. Iery. Backe sirs, so : I roide you afore ye woulde be shent. 
R. Royster. She shall have the first day a whole pecke of argent. 
M. Iumbl. A pecke ? Nomine patris [crossing herself ], have ye so 
much spare ?« 
R. Royster. Yea and a carte Iode therto, or else were it bare 5o 
Besides other movables, housholde stuff'e and lande. 
M. 3lumbL Have ye lands too. 
R. Royster. An hundred marks. 
34. Iery. Yea a thousand 
M. 3IumbL And have ye cattell too ? and sheepe too i 
R. Royster. Yea a fewe. 
M. kleq. He is ashamed the numbre of them to shewe. 
Een rounde about him, as many thousande sheepe goes» 55 
As he and thou and I too, have fingers and toes. 
M. MumbL And how many yeares olde be you ? 
R. Royster. Fortie at lest. 
M. 34ery. Yea and thrice fortie to them. 
R. Royster. Nay now thou dost jest. 
I am not so olde, thou misreckonest my yeares. 59 
M. A4ery. I know that : but my minde was on bullockes and steeres. 
34. Iumbl. And what shall I shewe hir your masterships name is 
R. Royster. Nay sle shall make sute ere she know that ywis. 
M. A4umbl. Yet let me somewhat knowe. 
1 Cf. Chaur.¢r'i Miller' Talc» 3z68» Skelton» etc. 2 C., 



sc. ,,,,] Roister Doister t 2 7 

 J4'ery. This is hee[,] understand, 
That killed the blewe Spider 1 in Blanchepouder 2 lande. 
114. J4umbl. Yea esus[!] William[!] zee law[!] dyd he zo[?] 
law [[] 65 
M. Mery. Yea and the last Elephant a that ever he sawe, 
As the beast passed by, he start out of a buske, * 
And een with pure strength of armes pluckt out his great tuske. 
11,1. J'Iumbl. esus, nomine patris [crossing herself ], what a thing was 
that ? 
R. Roister. Yea but Merygreke one thing thou hast forgot. 70 
Jl. Mery. What ? 
R. Royster. Of thother Elephant. 
M. Mery. Oh hym that fledde away. 
R. Royster. Yea. 
M. Mery. Yea he knew that his match was in place that da), 
Tut, he bet the king of Crickets  on Christmasse day, 
That he crept in a hole, and hot a worde to sa),. 
M. Mumbl. A sore man by zembletee.  75 
34. Mtry. Why, he wrong a club 
Once in a fray out of the hande of Belzebub. 
R. Royster. And how when Mumfision ? 
34. A4ery. Oh your coustrelyng 7 
Bore the lanterne a fielde so before the gozelyng. 
Nay that is to long a matter now to be tolde : 
Never aske his name Nurse, I warrant thee, be bolde, 80 
He conquered in one day from Rome, to Naples, 
And woonne Townes[,] nourse[,] as fast as thou canst make 
Apples. 

1 Cf. the tiret *eene in Plaut. Mlles. lnstead of the blue spider, etc., Thersites kills Cots- 
ld Liom, fight agaimt a mail, az Horribillcribrifax against a car, and Sir Thopas (in 
nd),mion) agaimt the « monster' Ovis. 
 Pouldre blanche : a powder compounded of Ginger, Cinnamon, and Nutmegs (Cot- 
grive). Cf. Blauncbe laund in the Storv of Fulk Fit. 14arine ; the Lady of Blanchland in 
the poem on Carie off Carlik in Percy', o//o/gs. ], 279, etc. 
a C£ Plaut. ltIiles, I. i, 26.  Northern dialect for « bush.' 
 In the ,erles of the « blue spider * and the « gozeling.' Cf. *' the King of Cockne'ya on 
-.bilderma-day "° Brandie Pop. lnt. I, 536 etc. 
 by thc holy blood ? (Hazlltt : OEuasi semblety, oemblance.) 
! OE tr, l in Phil. ,.ça¢./Dia.» Coustillir in Cotgr. 



I :28 Roister Doîster [ACT., 

I. MumbL 0 Lorde, my heart quaketh for feare: he is to sore. 
R. Rovster. Thou makest hir to much afearde, Merygreeke no more 
"'his raie woulde feare mv sweete heart Custance right evill. 
I. klery. Nay let hir take him Nurse, and feare not the devill. 86 
But thus is our song dasht. [To the musicians] Sirs ye may 
home againe. 
R. Rovster. No shall they not. I charge you ail here to remaine: 
he villaine slaves[!] a whole day ere they tan be founde. 
AI. Alery. Couche on your marybones whooresons, down to the 
ground [!] 1 90 
Was it meete he should tarie so long in one place 
,Vithout harmonie of Musike, or some solace ? e il 
Who so hath suche bees as your maister in hys head, 
Had neede to have his spirites with Musike to be fed. 
By your maisterships licence [picking something from his coat]. 
R. Rovster. Vhat is that ? a moate ? 9 6 
21,I. A,lery. No it was a fooles feather 2 had light on your coate. 
R. Roister. I was nigh no feathers since I came from my bed. 
111. A,Iery. No sir, it was a haire that was fall from your hed. 
R. Roister. Mv men coin when it plese them. 
AI, illery. Bv vour leve. 
R. Roister. Vhat is that ? 
I. Ilery. Your gown was foule spotted with the foot of a gnat. 1oo 
R. Roister. Their maister to offende they are nothing afearde. 
Vhat now ? 
21,I. eIIery. A lousy haire from your masterships beard. 
Omnes famul[t]. 8 And sir for Nurses sake pardon this one 
offence. 
Ve shall not after this shew the like negligence. IO 4 
R. Royster. I pardon you this once, and corne sing nere the wurse. 
I. Alery. How like you the goodnesse of this gentleman [,] nurse ? 
1 Here follows a farclcal scene, doubdessl]¢ inserted for the applause of the gallerie*. The 
musicians are suppoed to kneel in mock reverence (¢. 9o), while M. indulges in practical 
jokes upon R. 
2 A picture of such a  fool*s feather»' added to the « comb ' in Douce'$ Illustrations» II. 
Plate 4,  (cf. lb. p. 22). 
 E.,famulae, but the maids are hot on the ,rage i . 107 (hi$ me.n) ahowa that the 
musicians are meant. 



sc. ,,,,] Roister Doister 12 9 

214. il4umbL God save his maistership that so can his men forgeve, 
And I wyll heare them sing ere I go, bv his leave. 
R. Royster. Marv and thou shalt wenche, come we two will daunce. 
1l'I. blumbL Nay  will by myne owne selfe foote the song perchaunce. 
R. Royster. Go toit sirs lustily. I I I 
214. ll4umbl. Pipe up a mery note, 
Let me heare it playde, I will foote it for a grote. 
Cantent.  
R. Royster. Now nurse take thvs same letter here to thy mistresse. 
And as my trust is in thee plie my businesse. 
bi. IumbL It shalbe done [!] 9. I 1 5 
bi. blery. Vho made it ? 
R. Royster. I wrote it ech whit. 
bi. blery. Then nedes it no mending. 
R. Royster. No, no. 
bi. blery. No I know your wit. 
I warrant it wel. 
114. blumb. It shal be delivered. 
But if ve speede, shall I be considered ? 
M. il4ery. Whough, dost thou doubt of that ? 
bIadge. What shal I have ? I I £) 
bi. bIery. An hundred times more than thou canst devise to crave 
bi. bIumbl. Shall I bave some newe geare ? for my olde is ail spent. 
bi. bIerr. The worst kitchen wench shall goe in ladies rayment. 
bi. )IumbL Yea ? 
114. blery. And the worst drudge in the house shal go better 
Than your mistresse doth now. 
ll/Iar. Then I trudge with your letter. [Exit. ] 
R. Royster. Now mav I repose me : Custance is mine owne. c il b 
Let us sing and play homeward that it mav be knowne. 126 
bi. ll4ery. But are you sure, that your letter is'well enougb ? 
R. Royster. I wrote it my selle. 
/14./k/ery. Then sing we to dinner. 
Here tbey sing, and go out singing. 
I Cantent refers apparently to the Seconde Song at the end of the play.  E. has ' ? . 
K 



,3 ° Roister Doister [c. ,., «.  

Actus. i. Scoena. v. 

CHRISTIAN CUSTANCE. MARGERIE MUMBLECRUST. 

C. Custance. ,Vho tooke * thee thys letter Margerie Mumblecrust 
/lI. kIumbL A lustie gay bacheler tooke it me of trust, 
And if ve seeke to him he will lowe  your doing. 
C. Custance. Yea, but where learned he that manner of wowing 
1I. «llumbL If to sue to hym, you will anv paines take, 
He will bave you to his wife (he sayth) for my sake. 
C. Custance. Some wise gent|emen belike. I ara bespoken a: 
And I thought verily thys had bene some token 
From mv dere spouse 4 Gawin Goodluck, whom when him 
please 
God luckily sende home to both out heartes ease. 
I. Iumbl. A joyly 6 man it is I wote well by report, 
And would bave vou to him for marriage resort : 
Best open the wrting, and see what it doth speake. 
C. Custance. At thvs rime nourse I will neither reade ne breake. 
1I. Alumbl. He promised to give you a who|e pecke of go|de. 
C. Custance. Perchaunce lacke of a pynte when it shall be all tolde. 
|I. «llumbL I wou]d take a ga.v riche husbande, and I were you. 
C. Custance. In good sooth Madge, een so wou|d I, if I were thou. ° 
But no more of this fond talke now, let us go in, 
And see thou no more move me folly to begin. 2o 
Nor bring mee no mo letters for no mans p|easure, 
But thou know from whom. 
«I. lumbl. I warrant ve shall be sure. 
I gave. Cf. Tbe Lctell Geue of Robyn Hode  '« Take him a gray courbera" etc. 
' Cf. 'allowe,' V. , z; 'chieve," 'gree," etc. (C. changes: 'loue'). 
s womised" 
affiancedl cf. IV.i 7; IV iii, 4i V. ii 6. 
 C., 'ioly" i cf. ioily, II. iii, 53- 
 Custance's quick answer need not be carried back to Parmenio (as by Cooper). 



^c.. if., sc. ,] Roister Doister  3  

Actus. ii. Scoena i. t e Irai 

DOBINET DOUGHTIE. 

D. Dough. Where is the bouse I goe to, before or behinde ? 
I know hot where nor when nor how I shal it finde. 
If I had ten mens bodies and legs and strength, 
This trotting that I bave must needs lame me at length. 
And nowe that my maister is new set on wowyng, 
I trust there shall none of us finde lacke of doyng : 
Two paire of shoes a day will nowe be too litle 
To serve me, I must trotte to and fro so mickle. 
Go beare me thys token, carrie me this letter, 
Nowe this is the best way, nowe that way is better. IO 
Up before day sirs, I charge you, an houre or twaine, 
Trudge, do me thys message, and bring worde quicke againe, 
If one misse but a minute, then [H]is armes and woundes ° 
I woulde not have slacked for ten thousand poundes. 
Nay see I beseeche you, if my most trustie page, 
Goe hot nowe aboute to hinder mv mariage, 
So fervent hotte wowyng, and so Î'arre from wiving, 
I trowe never was any creature livyng, 
With every woman is he in some ioves pang, 
Then up to our lute at midnight, twangledome twang,  2o 
Then twang with our sonets, and twang with out dumps, 
And heyhough from our heart, as heavie as lead lumpes: 
Then to our recorder 5 with toodleioodle poope 
As the howlet out of an yvie bushe should hoope. 
Anon to our gitterne, thrumpledum, thrumpledum thrum, 
Thrumpledum, thrumpledum, thrumpledum, thrump|edum 
thrum. 
I II. i. A night has passed between th¢ first and the second acts [note the * last day' in 
v.. 4.6]. The following monologue is distinctly in the spirit of the Roman comedy. The 
• ,gnature at the bottom of this page in the E. copy is C v. 
 E., ' his,' and no dashes, but a comma af'ter * woundes." 
a Toangillos in Halliwell, Toango in Fliigel's Dict. 
« An onomatopoe6c melody, song i cf. Romeo, lV. v, o8, 2 9. $ fluoe. 



13 z Roister Doister Ccr n 

O; Songs and Balades also is he a maker, 
And that can he as finely doe as lacke Raker, 1 c ii b 
Yea and extempore will he dities compose, 
Foolishe Iarsias nere made the like I suppose, 3o 
Yet must we sing them, as good stuffe I undertake, 
As for such a pen man is well fittyng to make. 
Ah for these long nights, heyhow, when will it be day ? 
I feare ere I come she will be wowed away. 
Then when aunswere is made that it may not bee, 35 
O death why commest thou hOt ? by and by a (sayth he)[;] 
But then, from his heart to put away sorowe, 
He is as farre in with some newe love next morowe. 
But in the meane season we trudge and we trot, 
From dayspring to midnyght, I sit not, nor rest not. 4 ° 
And now am I sent to dame Christian Custance: 
But I feare it will ende with a mocke for pastance.  
I bring hir a ring, with a token in a cloute, 
And by ail gesse, this same is hir house out of doute. 
I knowe it nowe perfect, I am in my right way. 45 
And loe yond the olde nourse that was wyth us last day. 

Actus ii. Scoena ii. 

MAGE MUMBLECRUST. DOBINET DOUGHTIE. 

M. ll/IumbL I was nere so shoke * up afore since I was borne, 
That our mistresse coulde not have chid  I wold have sworne : 
And I pray God I die if I ment any harme, 
But for my life rime this shall be to me a charme. 
D. Dough. God you saveand see nurse, and howe is it with you ? 5 
I. lIumbL Mary a great deale the worse it is for suche as thou. 
1 C. Skelton against Garnesche : " Ye wolde be callyd a maker And make mocke lyke Jake 
Raker" ( Dyce : "an imaginary person whose name had become proverbial '" for bad verses). 
 Note ' pastance,' indicating the original pronunciarion in the rhyme, III. iii, * 5, ; V. ii, 
2  ; where the word is hOt required for the rhyme we find ' pastlme," V. v, zo, etc. $o in 
Henry VIII's famous song, Pastime q.vitb good companye, we have the word rhyming with 
' daliance,' ' daunce." 8 From time to rime. Prompt. Par. Gen. Ed. 
4 , shoke" in Shakespeare i « chid" cf. II. iii, 4- 



sc. ,,,] Roister Doister  33 

D. Dougb. For me? Whyso? 
#I. lI4umb. XVhy wer not thou one of them, say, 
That song and playde here with the gentleman last day ? 
D. Dougb. Yes, and he would know if you have for him spoken. 
And prayes you to deliver this ring and token. IO 
M. A4umbl. Nowe bv the token that God tokened[,] brother, 
I will deliver no token one nor other. 
I have once ben so shent for vour maisters pleasure, c i, 
As I will not be agayne for ail hys treasure. 
D. Dough. He will thank you woman. 15 
A4. A4umbL I will none of his thanke. Ex. 
D. Dough. I weene I am a prophete, this geare will prove blanke : 1 
But what should I home againe without answere go ? 
It were better go to Rome2 on my head than so. 
I will tary here this moneth, but some of the bouse 2o 
Shall take it of me, and then I care hot a louse. 
But yonder commeth forth a wer.che or a ladde, 
If he bave hot one Lumbardes touche,U my lucke is bad. 

Actus. ii. Scoena. iii. 

TRUEPEIIE. D. DOUGH. TIBET T. AIOT AL. 

Trupeny. I am cleane lost for lacke of merv companie, 
We gree not halfe well within, out wénches and I, 
They will commaunde like mistresses, they will forbyd, 
If they be not served, Trupeny must be chvd. 
Let them be as mery nowe as ye can desire, 
,Vith turnyng of a hande, our mirth lieth in the mire, 
I can not skill of such chaungeable mettle, 
There is nothing with them but in docke out nettle. 4 
1 unsuccessful. 
 Cf. Hicscorner ( Dodsley, ,  68 ): « If any of us three be mayor of London I *vis I will 
ride to Rome on my thumh." 
s touchstone (Cotgr.). The Lombards famous as bankers ; ill famed for their « subtyl 
crafft . . . to deceyue a gentyl man " (Boorde's lntrod., p. ,86). 
4 Cf. Chaucer, Troil. 4, 46. ; Heywood, Pro. z, ch. . Reference to the cure of nettle- 
stings by dock-leaves. 



 34 Roister Doister C,.,CT. ,, 

D. Dough. Vhether is it better that I speake to him furst, 
Or he first to me, it is good to cast the wurst. o 
If I beginne first, he will smell ail my purpose 
Otherwise I shall not neede any thing to disclose. 
Trupeny. Vhat boy have we yonder ? I will see what he is. 
D. Dough. He commeth to me. It is hereabout ywis. 
Trupeny. Vouldest thou ought friende, that thou lookest so about ? 
D. Dough. Yea, but whether ye can helpe me or no, I dout. 6 
I seeke to one mistresse Custance house here dwellyng. 
Trupenie. It is my mistresse ye seeke too by your telling. 
D. Dough. Is there any of that naine heere but shee ? 
Trupenie. Not one in ail the whole towne that I knowe par- 
dee. c i, b o 
D. Dough. A XVidowe she is I trow. 
Trupenie. And what and she be ? 
D. Dough. But ensured to an husbande. 
Trupenie. Yea, so thinke we. 
D. Dough. And I dwell with hir husbande that trusteth to be. 
Trupenie. In faith then must thou needes be welcome to me 
Let us for acquaintance shake handes togither, z5 
And what ere thou be, heartily welcome hither. 
Tib. Talk. X, Vell Trupenie never but flinging.; [«,t«i,g with A..] 
lin. 41yface. And frisking? 
Trupenie. X, Vell Tibet and Annot, still swingyng and whiskyng ? 
Tib. Talk. But ye toile abroade. 
tn. dlyface. In the streete evere where. 
Trupenie. x, Vhere are ye twaine, in chambers when ye mete m« 
there ? 34 
But corne hither fooles, I have one nowe by the hande 
Servant to hvm that must be our mistresse husbande 
Byd him weicome. 
lin. 4lyface. To me truly is he welcome. 
Tib. Talk. Forsooth and as I may say, heartily welcome. 
D. Dough. I thank you mistresse maides 35 
ln. llyface. I hope we shal better know 
Tib. Talk. And when wil our new master corne. 

x running about. 



«. ,,,] Roister Doister  35 

D. Dough. Shortly I trow. 
Tib. Talk. I would it were to morow: for till he resorte 
Our mistresse being a Vidow bath small comforte, 
And I hearde our nourse speake of an husbande to day 
Ready for our mistresse, a riche man and a gay, 4o 
And we shall go in our frenche hoodes 1 every day, 
In our silke cassocks (I warrant you) freshe and gay, 
In our tricke 9 ferdegews and billiments of golde, a 
Brave 4 in our sutes of chaunge seven double folde, 
Then shall ye see Tibet sirs, treade the mosse so trimme, 45 
Nay, why sayd I treade ? ye shall see hir glide and swimme, 
Not lumperdee clumperdee like our spaniell Rig. 
Trupeny. Mary then prickmedaintie  come toste me a fig. 
Who shall then know our Tib Talke apace trow ye ? 
/ln. 41yface. And why hOt Annot Alyface as fvne as she ? 5 ° 
Trupeny. And what had Tom Trupeny, a fariner or none ? 
4n. 4lyface. Then our prety newe come man will looke to be one. 
Trupeny. ,Ve foure I trust shall be a joily mery knot. 
Shall we sing a fitte to welcome our friende, Annot ? D i 
An. Al)face. Perchaunce he can not sing. 55 

D. Dough. 
Tib. Talk. 

I am at ail assayes.; 
By cocke and the better 

Here they 

A thing very fitte 
For them that bave witte, 
And are felowes knitte 
Servants in one bouse to bee, 6o 
Is fast fast for to sitte, 
And not oft to flitte, 
Nor varie a whitte, 
But lovingly to agree. 

welcome to us alwayes. 
sing. 
No man complainyng, 6 5 
Nor other disdavning, 
For losse or for'gainyng, 
But felowes or friends to bee. 
No grudge remainyng, 
No worke refrainyng, 7 ° 
Nor helpe restrainyng, 
But lovingly to agree. 

Cf. Boorde's Introd., x9x , etc.  neat. C£ Ascham, Tox. OE8. 
E. and A. read : ' ferdegews' i C. and H. :  ferdegews.' Is it the saine as French : 
l"erdugalle {A vardingale, Cotgr.) ? lb. s.v. Ba'volet: A billiment or head-attire, etc. 
gay ('the earliest quot. in Murray is from , 568 ). 
Cf. Jamieson's &ott. Dict.: Prickmedainty, one who is finical in dress or carriage. 
ls this related to "giving a fig " ? 7 ready for every event (PhiL &c. Dict.). 



 3 6 Roister Doister [« . 

No man for despite, 
Bv worde or bv write 
His felowe to twite, 75 
But further in honestie, 
No good turnes entwite,  
Nor olde sores recite, 
But let ail goe quite, 
And lovingly to agree. 80 

After drudgerie, 
When they be werie, 
Then to be merie, 
To laugh and sing they be free 
,Vith chip and cherie 8 5 
Heigh derie derie, 
Trill on the berie,  
And lovingly to agree. 
Finis. 

T;b. Talk. X.Vyll you now in with us unto our mistresse go ? 
D. Dougb. I bave first for mv maister an errand or two. 9 ° 
But I have here from him a token and a ring, 
Thev shall bave moste thanke of hir that first doth it bring. 
Tib. Talk] Marv that will I. 
Trupeny. See ard Tibet snatch not now. 
Tib. Talk. And whv mav not I sir, get thanks as well as you ? Exeat. 
An. Alyface. Yet get ye not ail, we will go with you both. 95 
And have part of vour thanks be ye never so loth. 
[ Ex«ant omn«s.] 
D. Dough. So mv handes are ridde of it : I care for no more. 
I may now return home: so durst I hOt afore. Exeat. 

Actus. ii. Scoena. iiii.    

C. CUSTANCE. TIB£T. ANNOT ALYFAC£. TRUPENYo 

C. Custance. 
mavde : 
Vill not so manv forewarnings make you afrayde ? 
Tib. Talk. Yes forsoth. 
C. Custance. But stil be a runner up and downe 
Still be a bringer of tidings and tokens to towne. 
Tib. Talk. No forsoth mistresse. 

Nav come forth ail three: and come hither pretie 

to make a thing a subject for reproach ( Phil oc. Dict. ). 
Four Elem. (Dodsley, 1, 



«. ,,,q Roister Doister  37 

C. Custance. Is ail your delite and joy 
In whiskyng and ramping  abroade like a Tom boy. 
Tib. Talk. Forsoth these were there too, Annot and Trupenie. 
Trupenie. Yea but ye alone tooke it, ye can hot denie. 
/lnnot /tly. Yea that ye did. 
Tibet. But if I had hot, ye twaine would. 
C. Custance. You great calfe ve should have more witte, so ye 
should : I o 
But why shoulde anv of you take such things in hande. 
Tibet. Because it came from him that must be your husbande. 
C. Custance. How do ye know that ? 
Tibet. Forsoth the boy did say so. 
C. Custance. What was his naine ? 
¢n. M)face. We asked hot. 
C. Custance. No ?  
.4n. /iliface. He is hOt farre gone of likelyhod. 15 
Trupeny. I will see. 
C. Custance. If thou canst finde him in the streete bring him to me. 
Trupenie. Yes. Exeat. 
C. Custance. gVell ye naughty girles, if ever I perceive 
That henceforth you do letters or tokens receive, 
To bring unto me from anv person or place, 
Except ye first shewe me the partie face to face, zo 
Evther thou or thou, full truly abve 8 thou shalt. 
Tibet. Pardon this, and the next tvme pouder me in sait. 
C. Custance. I shall make all girles by you twaine to beware. 
Tibet. If ever I offende againe do not me spare. 
But if ever I see that false boy anv more 25 
By your mistreshyps licence I tell vou afore 
I will rather bave mv cote twentie times swinged, 
Than on the naughtie wag not to be avenged. 
C. Custance. Good wenches would not so rampe abrode ydelly, 
But keepe within doores, and plie their work earnestly, D il 30 

1 Cf. Cotgr. s.'o. Trenon : f. A great raumpe, or tomboy ; s.-o Trotlere : fi A raumpe 
•.. raunging damsell, etc. 
 E., ' No did ?' -- ' did " spoils the rhyme. 
a Cf. Palsgrave, 4' 5 ; I abye» I forthynke or ara punished for a thynge, etc. 



13 8 Roister Doister [ACT. m 

If one would s0eake with me that is a man likely, 
Ye shall bave right good thanke to bring me worde quickly. 
But otherwyse with messages to corne in post 
From henceforth I promise you, shall be to your cost. 
Get vou in to your work. 35 
Tib. Cn. "Yes forsoth. 
C. Custance. Hence both twaine. 
And let me see you play me such a part againe. 
[ Exeant TIIL and AN.] 
Trupeny [entering]. Maistresse, I bave runne past the farre ende of 
the streete, 
Yet can I hOt yonder craftie boy see nor meete. 
C. Custance. No ? 
Trupeny. Yet I looked as farre beyonde the people. 
As one mav see out of the toppe of Paules steeple. 40 
C. Custance. Hénce in at doores, and let me no more be vext. 
Trupeny. Forgeve me this one fault, and lay on for the next. 
C. Custance. Now will I in too, for I thinke so God me mende, 
This will prove some foolishe matter in the ende. Exeat. 

Actus. [i]ii. $coena. i. 

MATHEWE MERYGREEKEo 

I. Afferr. Nowe sav thvs againe: he hath somewhat to dooing 
Which followeth trie trace of one that is wowing, 
Specially that hath no more wit in his hedde, 
Than mv cousin Roister Doister withall is ledde. 
I am sent in ail haste to espie and to marke 5 
How out letters and tokens are likely to warke. 
Maister Roister Doister must bave aunswere in haste 
For he loveth not to spende much labour in waste. 
Nowe as for Christian Çustance by this light, 
Though she had not hir trouth to Gawin Goodluck plight, to 



sc. ,,] Roister Doister 139 

Yet rather than with such a loutishe dolte to marîe, 
I date say woulde lyre a poore lyfe solitarie, 
But fayne woulde I speake with Custance if I wist how 
To laugh at the matter, yond commeth one forth now. 

Actus. iii. Scoena. ii.    

TIBET. M. MERYGREEKEo CHRISTIAI' CIJ'$Tk.I'CE. 

'çib. Talk. Ah that I might but once in mv life have a sight 
Of him that made us all so yll shent by this light, 
He should never escape if I had him by the eare, 
But even from his head, I would it bite or teare. 
Yea and if one of them were not inowe, 5 
I would bite them both off, I make God avow. 
iii. ll/lery. What is he, whome this little mouse doth so threaten ? 
Tib. Talk. I woulde teache him I trow, to make girles shent or 
beaten. 
iii. iiIery. I will call hir: Maide with whome are ye so hastie ? 
Tib. Talk. Not with you sir, but with a little wag-pastie, IO 
A deceiver of folkes, by subtill craft and guile. 
iii. iiIery. I knowe where she is: Dobinet hath wrought some 
wile. 
Tib. Talk. He brought a ring and token which he sayd was sent 
From our dames husbande, but I wot well I was shent : 
For it liked hir as well to tell you no lies, I_ 
As water in hir shyppe, or sait cast in hir eies: 
And yet whence it came neyther we nor she can tell. 
iii. iiIery. XVe shall have sport anone: I like this very well. 
And dwell ye here with mistresse Custance faire maide ? 
Tib. Talk. Yea mary doe I sir: what would ye have sayd ? 2o 
iii. iiI«ry. A little message unto hir by worde of mouth. 
Tib. Talk. No messages by your leave, nor tokens forsoth. 
iii. iiI«ry. Then help me to speke with hir. 
Tibet. Vith a good wil that. 
Here she commeth forth. Now speake ye know best what. 



I 40 Roister Doister [^er. !!! 

ICI/STANCE enters. ] 
C. Custance. None other lire with vou maide, but abrode to skip 
Tib. Talk. Forsoth here is one would speake with vour mistresship. 
C. Custance. Ah, bave ye ben learning of mo messages now 
Tib. Talk. I would hot heare his minde, but bad him shewe it to you. 
C. Custance. In at dores. 
Tib. Talk. I ara gon. Ex. 
I. lery. Dame Custance god ye save. 
C. Custance. .Velcome friend Merygreeke: and what thing wold 
ye have ? D iiia 30 
I. Alery. I am corne to you a little matter to breake. 
C. Custance. But see it be honest, else better hOt to speake. 
1. Iery. Howe feele ye your selfe affected here of late 
C. Custance. I feele no maner chaunge but after the olde rate. 
But whereby do ye meane ? 
1. lllerv. Concerning mariage. 
Doth hot love lade vou ? 
C. Custance. I feele no uch cariage, z 
I. gIerv. Doe ve feele no pangues of dotage ? aunswere me right. 
C. Custance. I dote so, that I make but one sleepe ail the night 
But what neede ail these wordes ? 
I. glerv. Oh Jesus, will ve see 
Vhat dissemblyng creatures these same women be ? 4 o 
The gentleman ye wote of, whome ve doe so love, 
That ve woulde favne marrie him, );f ye durst it more, 
Emong other riche widowes, which are of him glad, 
Lest ye for lesing of him perchaunce might runne mad, 
Is nowe contented that upon your sute making, 45 
Ye be as one in election of taking. 
C. Custance. .Vhat a tale is this 
I. lllerv. Yea and he is as loving a worme againe as a dove. 
Een of vers' pitie he is willyng you to take, 
Bicause ve'shall hOt destrov your selfe for his sake. $o 
C. Custance. Marv God velde lis mashyp what ever he be, 
It is gentmanly spolen. 
1 Cf. II. iv» 26. I Wronf signature in E.» D.v. t urden. 



sc. ] Roister Daister  4  

cil gl,lery. Is it hOt trowe ye ? 
If ye have the grace now to offer your self, ye speede. 
C. Custance. As muche as though I did, this time it shall not needc, 
But what gentman is it, I pray you tell me plaine, 55 
That woweth so finely ? 
M. lery. Lo where ye be againe, 
As though ye knewe him not. 
C. Custance. Tush ye speake in jest. 
11,1. lery. Nay sure, the partie is in good knacking I earnest, 
And bave you he will (he sayth) and have you he must. 
C. Custance. I am promised duryng my life, that is just. 60 
i1,1. gl,lery. Mary so thinketh he, unto him alone. 
C. Custance. No creature hath my faith and trouth but one, 
That is Gawin Goodlucke: and if it be not hee, 
He hath no title this wav what ever he be, D iii b 
Nor I know none to whorne I have such worde spoken. 65 
I. lery. Ye knowe him hot[,] you [,] bv his letter and token [!] 
C. Custance. In dede true it is, that a lettei I bave, 
But I never reade it yet as God me save. 
11,1. Mery. Ye a woman ? and your letter so long unredde. 
C. Custance. Ye may therby know what hast I have to wedde. 7 ° 
But now who it is, for my hande I knowe by gesse. 
AI. llery. Ah well I say. 
C. Custance. It is Roister Doister doubtlesse. 
11I. gl,lery. XVill ye never leave this dissimulation ? 
Ye know hym not. 
C. Custance. But by imagination, 
For no man there is but a very doit and loute 75 
That to wowe a l, Vidowe woulde so go about. 
He shall never have me hys wife while he doe live. 
114. Mery. Then will he bave you if he may, so mote I thrive, 
And he biddeth you sende him worde bv me, 
That ye humbly beseech him, ye may his wife be, 80 
And that there shall be no let in you nor mistrust, 
But to be wedded on sunday next if he lust 
And biddeth you to looke for him. 
1 Cf..qppius and lirg. ( Dodsley, 4, * 7.1 ) -" Il it's time to be knacking»" etc. 



 4 - Roister Doister [^c-. 

C. Custance. Doth he byd so ? 
AI. Iery. When he commeth, aske hym whether he did or no ? 
C. Custance. Goe say, that I bid him keepe him warme at home 85 
For if he corne abroade, he shall cough me a morne3 
My mvnde was vexed, I shrew his head sottish dolt. 
I. A4erv. He hath in his head 
C. Custance. As much braine as a burbolt. 8 
A4. A4ery. Vell dame Custance, if he heare you thus play choploge. 4 
C. Custance. XVhat will he ? 9 ° 
A4. A4ery. Plav. the devill in the horologe. 5 
C. Custance. I defye him loute. 
I. A4ery. Shall I tell hym what ye say ? 
C. Custance. Yea and adde what so ever thou canst, I thee pray, 
And I will avouche it what so ever it bee. 
A4. A4ery. Then let me alone we will laugh well ye shall see, 
It will hot be long ere he will hither resorte. 95 
C. Custance. Let hym corne when hvm lust, I wishe no better 
sport. 
Fare ye well, I will in, and read my great letter. 
I shal'l to my wower make answere the better. Exeat. r) i, 

Actus. iii. Scoena. iii. 

MATHEW MERYGREEKE. ROISTER DOISTERo 

A4ery. Nowe that the whole answere in mv devise doth rest, 
I shall paint out our vower in colours of he best. 
And ail that I sav shall be on Custances mouth, 
She is author of ail that I shall speake forsoth. 

1 he will show what a fool he is  cf. Skelton, z, z54 : " thou wylte coughe me a dawe "' 
(a foie, etc. ).  E. bas a period. 
s Cf. Palsgr. : Byrde boit marreras; Cotgrave, s.r. ' Marreras' . . . a quarrdl [arrow] 
without feathers, . . . a light-br-n'd . . . fellow. 
4 Sec Udall's lpoplotloegms ( 154.2, a/sud Murray) : "chop-loguers or great pratlers." The 
word originated in Protestant defision of the ' tropological " and ' anagogical ' senses of the scholas- 
tics ; cf. Tindale on tbe four senses of &ripture ( Obedience of a Cbristian ]lan, 304., 307, 
308) : "we must seek out some chopological sense.'" 
6 Cf. Heyood, Pro-o. z, ch. 4. (!o9) ; 300 F.pigram,» p. 149 , etc. 



sc. ,,,] Roister Doister I 4 3 

But yond commeth Roister Doister nowe in a traunce. 
R. Royster. uno sende me this day good lucke and good chaunce. 
I can not but corne see how Merygreeke doth speede. 
M. A4ery [aside]. I will hOt see him, but give him a jutte in deede. 1 
I crie your mastershyp mercie [!] [running bard into bim] 
R. Royster. And wbitber now 
1I. A,lery. As fast as I could runne sir in post against you. o 
But whv speake ye so faintly, or why are ye so sad ? 
R. Royster. Fhou knowest the proverbe, bycause I can not be had. 
Hast thou spoken with this woman ? 
M. lery. Yea that I have. 
R. Royster. And what will this geare be 
1I. i],lery. No so God me save. 
R. Royster. Hast thou a fiat answer ? 1 
I. i]'lery. Nav a sharp answer. 
R. Royster. What 
AI. i]'Iery. Ye shall not (she sayth') bv hir will marry hir cat. 
Ye are such a calfe, such an asse, such a blocke, 
Such a lilburne, u such a hoball, a such a lobcocke, 4 
And bicause ve shoulde come to hir at no season, 
She despised your maship out of ail reason. .o 
Bawa.we 5 what ve sav (ko I) of such a jentman, 
Nay I feare him hOt (ko she) doe the best he can. 
He vaunteth him selle for a man of prowesse greate, 
Where as a good gander I dare sav mav him beate. 
And where he is louted « and laug[ed to skorne, -5 
For the veriest dolte that ever was borne, 
And veriest lubber, sloven and beast, 
Living in this worlde from the west to the east: 
Yet of himselfe hath he suche opinion, 
-Fhat in ail the worlde is hOt the like minion, r 30 

I To hit, or run against (Baret, 58o, cf. Hall).  heaw, stupid fellow (Ha//iwell). 
a Cf. Sherwood : a Hob (or clowne). 4 lubber. 
s Cf. Baw ! as an exclamation of contempt, repudiation, in Pierce Plo¢vm, C. 13, 74. 
395 (" stili used in Lancashire as an interjection of contempt and abhorrence,'" Whitaker, 
83, cf. Skeat). 0 humiliated ; Shak., r Hen. I/'I. (IV. iii, 
¢ not only the loyer, sweetheart, etc., but also the flatterer, favorite (of a prince) despicable 
creature (cf. Cotgr. ). 



 44 Roister Doister [^cT. ,,, 

He thinketh eche woman to be brought in dotage 
With the onelv sight of his goodly personage : 
Yet none thatwill bave hrm : we do h'm loute and flocke,  
And make him among us, our common sporting stocke, 
And so would I now (ko she) save onelv bicause, 35 
Better nav (ko I) I lust hot medle withdawes. 
Ye are happy (ko I) that ve are a woman, 
This would cost you your lire in case ye were a man. 
t. Royster. Yea an hundred thousand pound should not save hir 
lire. 
11,I. Jlerr. No but that ye wowe hir to have hir to your wife, 40 
But I coulde not stoppe hir mouth. 
R. Rovster. Heigh how alas, 
Jl. lIlery. Be of good cheere man, and let the worlde passe, z 
R. Rovster. Vhat shall I doe or say nowe that it will not bee. 
Jl. iller. Ye shall have choice of a thousande as good as shee, 
And ye must pardon hir, it is for lacke of witte. 45 
R. Ro¢ster. 'ea, for were hot I an husbande for hir fitte ? 
gVell what should I now doe ? 
I. lery. In faith I can hot tell. 
R. Rovster. I will go home and die. 
jl. ler¢. Then shall I bidde toll the bell ? 
R. Rovster. No. 
21I. lerv. God bave mercie on your soule, ah good gentleman, 
That er ye shuld th [u]s dve for an unkinde woman, 5 ° 
XVill ye drinke once ere ve goe. 
R. R.ster. No, no, I will none. 
I. lery. How feele 3 your soule to God. 
R. Rovster. I ara nigh gone. 
I. lery. And shall we hence streight ? 
R. R. ster. Yea. 
I. llery. Placebo dilexi. 

i a Latinism (.flo«fa«ere} i used also in Udall's Parapbr. to Lue (I54 
IDiot. ). 
2 Cf. Tozvneley 3l)'st., IOl, and Triai  Treasure ; ' nde,' Four Elem. ; "let the world 
 sl]de' "' Wit and &ience. 
s A mlation om e Latin Or ad isitandum irmum (interroger eum 
omodo creoe n deum, MkeU» gon. 



sc. ,] Roister Doister 145 

Maister [R]oister Doister will streight go home and die. ut 
inf ra.1 54 
R. Royster. Heigh how, alas, the pangs of death my hearte do breake. 
M. Mery. Holde your peace for shame sir, a dead man may hot 
speake. 
Nequando : What mourners and what torches shall we have ? 
R. Royster. None. 
M. Mery. Dirige. He will go darklyng to his grave, 
Neque, lux, neque crux, neque mourners, neque clinke, 
He will steale to heaven, unknowing to God I thinke. 60 
Iporta inferi, who shall your goodes possesse ? 
R. Royster. Thou shalt be my sectour, - and have ail more and 
lesse.  i 
114. Mery. Requiem teternam. Now God reward your mastershyp. 
And I will crie halfepenie doale for your worshyp. 
Come forth sirs, heare the dolefull newes I shall you 
tell. E«t servos militlso 6 5 
Our good maister here will no longer with us dwell, 
But in spite of Custance, which hath hym weried, 
Let us see his mashyp solemnely buried. 
And while some piece of his soule is yet hvm within, 
Some part of his funeralls let us here begir. 7 ° 
Iudiui vocem, AIl men take heede by this one gentleman, 
Howe you sette your love upon an u.qkinde woman. 
For these women be ail such madde pievishe elves, 
They will not be wonne except it please them selves. 
But in fayth Custance if ever ye come in hell, 75 
Maister Roister Doister shall serve you as well. 
And will ye needes go from us thus in very deede ? 
R. Royster. Yea in good sadnesse [!] 
34. Mery. Now Jesus Christ be your speede. 
Good night Roger olde knave, farewell Roger olde knave, 
Good night Roger a olde knave, knave knap. ut infra. 4 
Pray for the late maister Roister Doisters soule, 8I 
And come forth parish Clarke, let the passing bell toll. 
1 On this Mock Requlem see p. x86 and Appendix E. 2 executor. 
t Cf. Sherwood : Roger bon temps» a mad rascall, a merry greek. 4 See p. x87. 



146 Roister Doister [. ,,, 

Pray for your mayster sirs, and for hym ring a peale. 
He was your right good maister while he was in heale. 
,.ui Lazarum. 8 5 
R. Royster. Heigh how. 
Al. lery. Dead men go not so fast 
In Paradisum. 81 
R. Royter. Heihow. 
Al. Alery. Soft, heare what I have cast 1 
R. Rovster. I will heare nothing, I am past. 
I. Alery. Vhough, wellaway. 
Ye may tarie one houre, and heare what I shall say, 90 
Ye were best sir for a while to revive againe, 
And quite them er ye go. 
R. Rovster. Trowest thou so? 
1. AIery. Ye plain. 
R. Rovster. How may I revive being nowe so farre past 
1,I. Alery. I will rubbe your temples, and lette you againe at last. 
R. Rovster. It will not be possible. 9.5 
Al. llery [rubbing R.'s temples rougbly]. Yes for twentie pounde. 
R. Rovster. Armes[!] 9_ what dost thou ? 
I. Alerv. Fet you again out of your sound a 
Bv this crosse ye were nigh gone in deede, I might feele 
;our soule departing within an inche of your heele. 
Now folow mv counsell. 
R. Rovster. Vhat is it ? 
AI. lllerv. If I wer you, 
Cstance should eft seeke to me, ere I woulde bowe. 
R. Rvster. Vell, as thou wilt have me, even so will I doe. 
Al. Aler.v. Then shall ve revive againe for an houre or two. 
R. Royster. As thou w[lt I am content for a little space. 
IVI. Ier, v. Good happe is not hastie :4 yet in space com[e]th 
grace, 5 
To speake with Custance your selfe shoulde be very well, 
What got, d therof may corne, nor I, nor you can tell. 
lCf. I. il, 181  I. ivI 4-; II. iii, IO1 etc. s swoon. 
2 by God's Armes !  Cf. I. iii, ! l, 4- 
6 Heywood, Pr. I, ch. 4 (17) ; C.amden's Pra., 271. 



sc. ,,q Roiter Doister 147 

But now the matter standeth upon your mariage, 
Ye must now take unto you a lustie courage) 
Ye may not speake with a faint heart to Custance, 
But with a lusty breast  and countenance, 1 IO 
That she may knowe she hath to answere to a man. 
R. Royster. Yes I can do that as well as any can. 
Il,l. 34ery. Then bicause ye must Custance face to face wowe, 
Let us see how to behave your selle ye can doe. 
Ye must have a portely bragge after your estate.   5 
R. Roister. Tushe, I can handle that after the best rate. 
34. A4ery. Well done, so loe, up man with your head and chin, 
Up with that snoute man : so Ioe, nowe ye begin, 
So, that is somewhat like, but[,] prankie a cote, nay[,] 
whan [!] 
That is a lustie brute, 4 handes under your side man: I 20 
So loe, now is it even as it shoulde  bee, 
That is somewhat like, for a man of your degree. 
Then must ye stately goe, jetting  up and downe, 
Tut, can ye no better shake the taile of your gowne 
There loe, such a lustie bragge it is ye must make. I2 
R. Royster. To come behind, and make curtsie, thou must som 
pains take. 
M. A4ery. Else were I much to blame, I thanke your mastershyp [,] 
The lorde one day[--]all to begrime you with wor- 
shyp, [M. pusbes violently against R.] 
Backe sir sauce, 8 let gentlefolkes have elbowe roome, 
Voyde sirs, see ye hOt maister Roister Doister come ? I 
Make place my maisters. [Knocks against R.] 
R. Rorster. Thou justlest nowe to nigh. 
2I. Iery. Back al rude loutes. F. il 
I H. makes the rhyme * carriage.' 
 volte ? or rather courage. 
8 Cf. Palsgr. p. 664.: set the plyghtes in order. 
 gallant i cf. I. il, 124., and the Fourtb 8ong, v. 7. 
6 A. has * should." 
6 Cf. Palsgr. 589: I jette with facyon and countenaunce to set forthe my selle. 
braggue etc. 
¢ E. ha, no punctuation after ' mastershyp" or * lord' i A. has a period after the former. 
s impudent fellow ! 



148 Roister Doister [ACT. ,,, 

R. Royster. Tush. 
34. Iery. I crie your maship mercy 
Hoighdagh, if faire fine mistresse Custance sawe you now, 
Ralph Royster Doister were hir owne I warrant you. 
R. R.ster. Neare 1 an M by your girdle ?  
A'I. lery. Your good mastershyps 
Maistershyp, were hir owne Mistreshyps mistreshyps, 
Ye were take 8 up for haukes, ye were gone, ye were gone, 
But now one other thing more yet I thinke upon. 
R. Rovster. Shewe what it is. 
11. Jlery. A wower be he never so poore 
Must play and sing before his bestbeloves doore 14o 
How much more than you ? 
R. Rovster. Thou speakest wel out of dout. 
I. ]bIery. And perchaunce that woulde make hir the sooner corne 
out. 
R. Rayster. Goe call mv Musitians, bydde them high apace. 
ciL Iery. I wyll be here with them ere ye can say trey ace. « Exeat. 
R. Rayster. This was well sayde of Merrygreeke, I lowe hvs 
wit, 145 
Belote my sweete hearts dote we will have a fit[,] 
That if mv love come forth, that I mav with hir talke 
I doubt not but this geare shall on mvside walke. 
But 1o, how well Merygreeke is retuned sence. 
cil JIery [returning witb tbe musicians]. There hath grown no 
grasse on mv heele since I went hence, 150 
Lo here bave I brought that shall make )'ou pastance. 
R. Royster. Corne sirs let us sing to winne my deare love Custance. 
Can tên t . 
11I. JIery. Lo where she commeth, some countenaunce to hir make. 
And ye shall heare nie be plaine with hir for your sake. 154 
I neçcr. 
s Cf. Halliwcll : fo keep the terrn  toaster ' out of sight, fo bc wanting in propcr respect 
[M. makcs good lais carclcssncss in thc ncxt vcrses !] 
a Cf. ' chose," I. i*',  5- 
 In a « treycc' ; thc French way ofcounting in gaines i cf. am$s ac¢ c¢ ac¢ etc. 
 Thls scems to rcfcr to thc « ¥aurtb 8ong" at the end of thc play. 



c. ..] Roister Doister 49 

Actus. iii. Scoena. iiii. 

(USTAICE. MERYGREEKE. RO$TER DOI$TER. 

C. Custance. What gaudyng I and foolyng is this afore my doore ? 
M. Mery. May hOt folks be honest, pray you, though thev be pote ? 
C. Custance. As that thing may be true, so rich folks may be fooles, 
R. Royster. Hir talke is as fine as she had learned in schooles. 
M. ll,Iery. Looke partly towarde hir, and drawe a little nere. . il b 
C. Custance. Get ye home idle folkes. 6 
M. Mery. Why may hOt we be here ? 
Nay and ye will hazeoe haze: otherwise I tell you plaine, 
And ye will hOt haze, then give us our geare againe. 
C. Custance. In deede I have of yours much gay things God save ail. 
R. Royster. Speake gently unto hir, and let hir take ail. IO 
114. Mery. Ye are to tender hearted : shall she make us dawes ? 
Nay daine, I will be plaine with you in my friends cause. 
R. Royster. Let ail this passe sweete heart and accept my service, a 
C. Custance. I will not be served with a foole in no wise, 
When I choose an husbande I hope to take a man. 15 
A/l. A4ery. And where will ye finde one which can doe that he can ? 
Now thys man towarde you being so kinde, 
You not to make him an answere somewhat to his minde. 
C. Custance. I sent him a full answere by you dyd I not ? 
114. Mery. And I reported it. 2o 
C. Custance. Nay I must speake it againe. 
R. Royster. No no, he roide it ail. 
M. AIery. Was I not metely plaine ? 
R. Royster. Yes. 
11,1. Mery. But I would not tell ail, for faith if I had 
With you dame Custance ere this houre it had been bad, 
And not without cause : for this goodly personage, 
Ment no lesse than to joyne with you in mariage. 2 5 
l A* early as the Promptorium Parulorum : Gawde or jape -- Nuga. 
 C., ' bave us."  E., ' ,semice.' 



 o Roster Doister [c.. !!I 

G. Gustance. Let him wast no more labour nor sute about me. 
I. kIery. Ye know not where your preferment lieth I see, 
He sending you such a token, ring and letter. 
C. Custance. Mary here it is, ye never sawe a better. 
Al1. Iery. Let us see your letter. 30 
C. Custance. Holde, reade it if ye can. 
And see what letter it is to winne a woman. 
I. lery [takes the letter and reads]. To mine ov¢ne deare coney 
birde, swete heart, and pigsny 
Good Mistresse Custance present these by and by, 
Of this superscription do ye blame the stile ? 
G. Custance. With the rest as good stuffe as ye redde a great 
while. 35 
3I. 3Iery. Sweete mistresse where as I love you nothing at all, I 
Regarding your substance and richesse chiefe of all, 
For your personage, beautie, demeanour and wit, 
I commende me unto you never a whit. -iii 
Sorie to heare report of vour good welfare. 4 ° 
For (as I heare say) suche your conditions are, 
That ye be worthie favour of no living man, 
To be abhorred of every honest man. 
To be taken for a woman enclined to vice. 
Nothing at ail to Vertue gyving hir due price. 45 
Wherfore concerning mariage, ye are thought 
Suche a fine Paragon, as nere honest man bought. 
And nowe by these presentes I do you advertise 
That I am minded to marrie you in no wise. 
For your goodes and substance, I coulde bee content 50 
To take you as ye are. If ye mynde to bee my wyfe, 
Ye shall be assured for the tyme of my lyre, 
I will keepe ye ryght well, from good rayment and fare, 
Ye shall not be kepte but in sorowe and care. 
Ye shall in no wyse lyve at your owne libertie, 55 
Doe and sa what ye lust, ye shall never please me, 
1 The ambiguous letter finds a pre-Shakespearian parallel in the atirical poem on 14omen 
prlnted from tldd. Ms. 1749=, fol. 18» in Fliigel'8 Lesebucb» p. 39i and in the poem printed 
in lbert'm tabrbu«b» 14» =14. 



. ,.,] Roister Doister  5  

But when ye are mery, I will be ail sadde, 
When ye are sory, I will be very gladde. 
When ye seeke your heartes ease, I will be unkinde, 
At no tyme, in me shall ye muche gentlenesse finde. 6 
But ail things contrary to vour will and minde, 
Shall be done: otherwise  wvll hOt be behinde 
To speake. And as for ail tlem that woulde do vou wrong 
I will so helpe and mainteyne, ve * shall hot lvve long. 
Nor any foolishe dolte, shall cumbre you butI. 2 65 
I, who ere say nay, wvll sticke bv vou tvll I die, 
Thus good mistresse Çustance, the lordé you save and kepe, 
From me Roister Doister, whether I wake or slepe. 
Who favoureth you no lesse, (ye mav be bolde) 
Than this letter purporteth, which ve have untblde. 7 ° 
C. Custance. Howe by this letter of lové ? is it hOt fine ? 
1. loyster. By the armes of Calevs a it is none of mvne. 
11,I. Mery. Fie vou are fowle to brame this is vour owne hand. E iii b 
C. Custan«e. Might hot a woman be proude f such an husbande ? 
111. gllery. Ah that ye would in a letter shew such despite. 75 
IL loyster. Oh I would I had hvm here, the which did it enditc. 
111. lery. Vhy ye ruade it you selfe ye tolde me bv this light. 
R. loyster. Yea I ment I wrote it mvne owne selle yesternight. 
C. Custance. Ywis sir, I would not have sent vou such a rnocke. 
R. lorster. Ye may so take it, but I ment it not so by cocke. 8o 
11/I. ]k[ery. ,Vho can blame this woman to fume and frette and 
rage ? 
Tut, tut, your selle nowe bave marde your owne marriage. 
Well, yet mistresse Custance, if ve can this remitte, 
This gentleman other wise mav your love requitte. 84 
tL Custance. No God be with you both, and seeke 4 no more to 
me. Exeat. 
R. loyster. ,Vough, she is gone for ever, I shall hir no more see. 
I Cf. III v 77 where R should have written or inserted  y'," thus obviating the neces- 
aity of resorting to bad grammar  ' they" for ' them." 
2 See Appendix H under ' Arber.' 
a Cf. IV. vil, 48 ; an oath in Skelton's 21tagnif. 685 (and Bo'wge, 398). Cahla waa 
lost to the English January zo,  558. 
 Cf. v. o» zz i Il. iii» 7» etc. 



 52 Roister Doister [«T. 

I. 2lery. What weepe ? fye for shame, and blubber ? for manhods 
sake, 
Never lette your foe so touche pleasure of you take. 
Rather play the mans patte, and doe love refraine. 
If she despise you een despise ye hir againe. 9o 
R. Royster. By gosse 1 and for thy sake I defye hir in deede. 
AL JIe.. Yea and perchaunce that way ye shall much sooner speede, 
For one madde propretie these women have in fey, 
,Vhen ve will, they will not: ,Vill not ye, then will they. 
Ah fooiishe woman, ah moste unluckie Custance, 95 
Ah unfortunate woman, ah pievishe Custance, 
Art thou to thine harmes so obstinate|v bent, 
That thou canst not see where lieth thine high preferment ? 
Canst thou not lub u dis man» which coulde lub dee so well ? 
Art thou so much thine own foe [?] lOO 
R. Rovster. Thou dost the truth tell. 
11. '¢lery. .Vel I lainent. 
R. Royster. So do I. 
1I. lery. ,Vherfor ? 
R. Royster. For this thing 
Bicause she is gone. 
I. Alery. I mourne for an other thing. 
R. Royster. .Vhat is it Merygreeke, wherfore thou dost griefe take ? 
I. lglery. That I ara nota woman myselfe for your sake, 
I would bave vou mv selfe, and a strawe for yond Gill, o5 
And mocke  much f vou though it were against my will. 
I would not I warrant you, fall in such a rage, i 
As so to refuse suche a goodly personage. 

R. Rovster. 
I. AL'ry. 
R. Rovster. 
I. ll«rv. 
R. Royster. 
I. Alery. 
R. Royster. 

In faith I heartily thanke thee Merygreeke. 
And I were a woman. 
"Fhou wouldest to me seeke. 
For though I say it, a goodly person ye bee. 
No, no. 
Yes a goodly man as ere I dyd see. 
No, I am a poore homely man as God ruade mee. 
1 = Gog's. R.'s oaths gain force wlth his mlsfortune. 
 Cf. I. il, 146. a make i cf. 1. iv» 18. 

IIO 



se ,,,,] Roister Doister 15 3 

11/I. IP1ry. By the faith that I owe to God sir, but ye bee. 
Woulde I might for your sake, spend a thousande pound 
land. I I 5 
R. Royster. I dare say thou wouldest have me to thy husbande. 
lb1. ]klerv. Yea: And I were the fairest lady in the shiere, 
And knewe you as I know you, and see you nowe here. 
XVell I sav no more. 
R. Rovster. Grammercies with ail my hart. 
lb1. lll«ry. But since that can hOt be, will ye play a wise parte ? 120 
R. Rovster. How should I ? 
]bi. ]klery. Refraine  from Custance a while now. 
And I warrant hir soone right glad to seeke to you, 
Ye shall see hir anon come on hir knees creeping. 
And pray you to be good to hir salte teares weeping. 
R. Royster. But what and she corne not? 125 
]kl. ll,lery. In faith then farewel she. 
Or else if ye be wroth, ye may avenged be. 
R. Royster. By cocks precious potsticke, and een so I shall. 
I wyll utterlv destroy hir, and bouse and ail, 
But I woulde be avenged in the meane space, 
On that vile scribler, that did mv wowyng disgrace. 130 
11/I. ]k[ery. Scribler (,ko you) in deede he is worthv no lesse. 
I will call hvm to you, and ve bidde me doubtlesse. 
R. Royster. Yes, for although he had as manv lires, 
As a thousande widowes, and a thousanle wives 
As a thousande lyons and a thousand rattes, 135 
A thousande wolves, and a thousande cattes, 
A thousande bulles, and a thousande calves, 
And a thousande legions divided in halves, 
He shall never scape death on mv swordes point, 
Though I shoulde be tome therfî3re joynt by joynt 14o 
11/i. ll,Iery. Nay, if ye will kvll him, I will not fette him, E iv b 
I will not in so touche xtremitie sette him, 
He may yet amende sir, and be an honest man, 
Therefore pardon him good soule, as muche as ye can. 
1 Paloestrio (llliles Glor. 17.4.4. ) : Nain tu te i,ilem feceris . . . Sine ultro i,eniat, çu«sitet, 
desideret txsectet. 



154 Roister Doister [ACT. 

R. Royster. Well, for thy sake, this once with his lyre he shall 
passe, 145 
But I wyll hewe hvm ail to pieces by the Masse. 
/r. /[«ry. Nav favth ye shall promise that he shall no harme have, 
Else I wiil hOt set him. 
R. Rorster. I shall so God me save. 
gut I may chide him a good. 
AI. AI«ry. Yea that do hardely. 
R. Rorster. Go then. 5 ° 
34. AIery. I returne, and bring him to you by and by. Ex. 

Actus iii. Scoena v. 

ROISTER DOISTER. MATHEWE MERYGREEKE. SCRIVEIçER. 

R. Royster. XVhat is a gentleman but his worde and his promise ? 
I must nowe save this vilaines lvfe in any wife, 
And ver at hvm alreadv mv ban'des doe tickle, 
I shail unethholde thym, ihey wvll be so fickle. 
But 1o and Merygreeke have notbrought him sens ? 5 
Al. Alery [entering witb the Scriv.]. Nay I woulde I had of my 
purse payde fortie pens. 
Scrivener. So woulde I too: but it needed not that stounde, 
cil e$lery. But thejentman  had rather spent rive thousande pounde 
For it disgraced him at least rive tvmes so touche. 
Scrivener. He disgraced hvm selfe, his loutishnesse is suche. o 
R. Royster. Howe long they stande prating? XVhv comst thou 
not awav ? 
1. el,lery. Come nowe to hymselfe, and hearke what he will say. 
Scrivener. I am not afrayde in his presence to appeere. 
R. Royster. Arte thou corne felow ? 
Scrivener. How thinke vou ? am I not here ? 4 
R. Royster. $Vhat hindance hast thou done me and what villanie ? 
Scrivener. It bath corne of thv selle, if thou hast had anv. 
! Cf. Tindale, 146z [ProL fftonas] : "the heathen Ninivites though they were blinded 
¢ith lusts a good "' i Tao G. of/2". IV. i% 17o : " weep agood." 2 Cf. 111. ii» 5 z. 



sc. v] Roister Doister 15 5 

R. Roytter. Ail the stocke thou comest of later or rather, 1 
From thy fyrst fathers grandfathers fathers father, 
Nor ail that shall corne of thee to the worldes ende, 
Though to three score generations they descende, 
Can be able to make me a just recompense, 
For this trespasse of thine and this one offense. 
&rivener. Wherin ? 
R. Royster. Did not you make me a letter brother ? 
Scrivener. Pas' the like hire I will make you suche an other. 
R. Royster. Nay see and these whooreson Phariseys and Scribes 2_5 
Doe not get their livyng by polling 3 and bribes. 4 
If it were hOt for shame [advances towards the Ser. to strike him.] 
&rivener. 5 Nay holde thy hands still. 
M. ll,lery. Why[,] did ye not promise that ye would not him 
spill ? 
&rlvener [prepares to flght]. Let him not spare me. [Strikes R.] 
R. Royster. Vhy wilt thou strike me again ? 
Scrivener. Ye shall bave as good as ye bring of me that is plaine. 3 ° 
iii. Mery. I can not blame him sir, though your blowes wold him 
greve. 
For he knoweth present death to ensue of ail ye geve. 
R. Royster. Well, this man for once hath purchased thv pardon. 
&rivener. And what say ye to me ? or else I will be gon. 
R. Royster. I say the letter thou madest me was not good. 35 
&rivener. Then did ye wrong copy it of likelvhood. 
R. Royster. Yes, out of thv copy worde for orde I wrote. 
&rivener. Then was it as ye prayed to have it I wote, 
But in reading and pointyng there was ruade some faulte. 
R. Royster. I wote not, but it ruade ail my matter to haulte. 40 
&rivener. How say you, is this mine originall or no ? 
R. Royster. The selfe same that I wrote out of; so more I go. 
8«rivener. Loke you on your owne fist,  and I will looke on thls. 
And let this man be judge whether I reade amisse. 
I sooner.  Cf. ' cousin," 111. i, 4- 8 swindling. 
 robbing ; Palsgr. 465 : I bribe, I pull, I pyll 
bfibeth and he polleth. 
 So in E. ; A., C., and H. give the words « Nay . . . still "' to 31e O" unnecessarily. 
 R. had received his copy back from Custance 



156 Roister Doister [^cT. ,,, 

To myne owne dere coney birde, sweete heart, and pigsny, 45 
Good mistresse Custance, present these by and by. 
How now ? doth not this superscription agree ? 
R. Royster. Reade that is within, and there ye shall the fault see. 
8crivener. Sweete mistresse, where as I love you, nothing at ail 
Regarding your richesse and substance: chiefe of ail 50 
For your personage, beautie, demeanour and witte 
I commende me unto you : Never a whitte 
Sory to heare reporte of your good welfare, v i  
For (as I heare say) suche your conditions are, 
That ye be worthie favour : of no living man 55 
To be abhorred : of every honest man 
To be taken for a woman enclined to vice 
Nothing at ail: to vertue giving hir due price. 
Wherefore concerning mariage, ye are thought 
Suche a fine Paragon, as nere honest man bought. 6o 
And nowe bv these presents I doe you advertise, 
That I am rinded to marrie you: In no wyse 
For your goodes and substance : I can be content 
To take you as you are: yf ye will be my wife, 
Ye shall be assured for the time of my lire, 65 
I wyll keepe you right well: from good raiment and rare, 
Ye shall not be kept: but in sorowe and care 
Ye shall in no wyse lyre: at your owne libertie, 
Doe and sav what ye lust: ye shall never please me 
But when ye are merrie: I will bee ail sadde 7 ° 
l, Vhen ye are sorie : I wyll be very gladde 
When ye seeke your heartes ease: I will be unkinde 
At no time: in me shall ye muche gentlenesse finde. 
But ail things contrary to vour will and minde 
Shall be done otherwise:  wyll not be behynde 75 
To speake: And as for ail they that woulde do you wrong, 
(I wyll so helpe and maintavne ye) shall hot lyre long. 
Nor any foolishe dolte shal(cumber you, but I, 
I, who ere say nay, wyll sticke by you tyll I die. 
"Fhus good mistresse Custance, the lorde you save and kepe. 80 
z Omitted in A. 



c. ] Roister Doister 157 

From me Roister Doiste G whether [ wake or slepe 
Who favoureth you no lesse, (ye may be bolde) 
Than this letter purporteth, which ye bave unfolde. 
Now sir, what default can ye finde in this letter ? 
R. Royster. Of truth in my mvnde there can not be a better. 8 5 
&rivener. Then was the faultin readyng, and not in writyng, 
No nor I date say in the fourme of endityng, v ii 
But who read this letter, that it sounded so nought ? 
M. kIery. I redde it in deede. 
8crivener. Ye red it not as ye ought. 
R. Roymr. Wh), thou wretched villaine was ail this same fault in 
thee ? [Advances angrily against M.] 9 ° 
i14. Mery [strikes R.]. I knocke your costarde I if ye off.er to strike 
me. 
R. Roy«ter. Strikest thou in deede ? and I offer but in jest ? 
i14. Mer.v. Yea and rappe you againe except ye can sit in rest. 
And I will no longer tarie here me beleve. 
R. Roy«ter. What wilt thou be angry, and I do thee forgeve ? 95 
Fare thou well scribler, I crie thee mercie in deede. 
8crivener. Fare ye well bibbler, and worthily may ye speede. 
R. Roy«ter. If it were an other but thou, it were a knave. 
bi. Mery. Ye are an other your selle sir, the lorde us both save, 
Albeit in this matter I must your pardon crave, t oo 
Alas woulde ye wyshe in me the witte that ye have ? 
But as for my fault I can quickely amende, 
I will shewe Custance it was I that did offende. 
R. Royster. By so doing hir anger may be reformed. 
114. lIery. But if by no entreatie she will be turned, fo 5 
Then sette lyght by hir and bee as testie as shee, 
And doe your force upon hir with extremitie. 
R. Roister. Corne on therefore lette us go home in sadnesse. 
i14. l],Iery. That if force shall neede ail may be in a readinesse, 
And as for thys letter hardely a let ail go, t t o 
We wyll know where 4 she refuse you for that or no. 
Exeant ara [bo.] 
1 head ; cf. 17. 17. N., p. 15o ; Hickscorner» p. 168, etc.  H. gives this fine to R. 
 by ail me.ans ; cf. I. il, 175 i IV, iii, 41, etc. • whether. 



 5 8 Roister Doister [^cv. llIl. 

Actus iiii. Scoena i. 

YM URESBY. 

Sim Sure. Is there any man but I Svm Suresbv alone, 
That would have taken such an enterprise him upon, 
In suche an outragious tempest as this was. 
Suche a daungerous gulfe of the sea to passe, r ii  
I thinke verily Aéptunes mightie godshyp, 5 
XVas angry with some that was in out shyp, 
And but for the honestie which in me he founde, 
I thinke for the others sake we had bene drownde. 
But fve on that servant which for his maisters wealth 1 
,Vill sticke for to hazarde both his lvfe and his health. o 
Mv maister Gawvn Goodlucke afte; me a dav 
Bicause of the wëather, thought best hvs shyppe to stay, 
And now that I have the rough sourges so well past, 
God graunt I mav finde ail things sale here at last. 
Then will I thinle ail mv travaile well spent. 15 
Nowe the first poynt whérfore mv maister hath me sent 
Is to salute dame Christian Custance his wife  
Espoused : whome he tendreth no lesse than his life, 
I must see how it is with hir well or wrong, 
And whether for him she doth not now thinke long: 2o 
Then to other friendes I have a message or tway, 
And then so to returne and mete him on the wav. 
Now wyll I goe knocke that I mav dispatche with speede, 
But loe forth commeth hir selfe happily in deede. 

Actus iiii. Scoena ii. 
CHRISTIAN CUSTANCEo SIM. SURESBYo 
C. Custance. I corne to see if any more stirryng be here, 
But what straunger is this, which doth to me appere ? 
1 welfare ; cf. ProL o. 
 Cf. ' spouse," etc., l. v, 9 ; IV. iii, 4L E. has comma between « wife ' and * F.poused. 



SC, III] Roister Doister  59 

Sym Surs. I will speake to hir: Dame the lorde you save and 
see. 
C. Custance. What friende Sym Suresby ? Forsoth right welcome 
ye be, 
Howe doth mine owne Gawyn Goodlucke, I pray the tell ? 
S. Suresby. When he knoweth of your health he will be perfect 
well. 
C. Custance. If he have perfect helth, I ara as I would be. F iii 
Sire. Sure. Suche newes will please him well, this is as it should be. 
C. Custance. I thinke now long for him. 
8ym Sure. And he as long for you. 
C. Custance. When wil he be at home ? 
Sym Sure. His heart is here een now 
His body commeth after. 
C. Custance. I woulde see that faine. 
Sire Sure. As fast as wynde and sayle can carv it a maine. 
But what two men are yonde comming iîitherwarde ? 
C. Custance. Now I shrew their best Christmasse chekes 1 both 
togetherward. 14 

Actus. iiii. Scoena. iii. 

CHRISTIAN CUSTANCE. 81rM 8URESBI e. PALPH P,OSa'ER. M^a'HEW 
MERYGREKE. TRUPENY. 

C,. Custance. What meane these lewde felowes thus to trouble me 
stil ? 
Sym Suresbv here perchance shal therof deme som yll. 
And shall su [si pect z in me some point of naughtinesse, 
And they come hitherward. 
81m Sure. XVhat is their businesse ? 
C. Custance. I have nought to them, nor they to me in sadnesse. 5 
Sire Sure. Let us hearken them, somewhat there is I feare it. 
R. Royster. I will speake out aloude best, that she may heare it. 
214". Mery. Nay alas, ye may so feare hir out of hir wit. 
R. Royster. By the crosse of my sworde, I will hurt hir no whit. 
I Cf. V. iv, z8 i t cheek" here iike  eyes»'  teeth.'  F., « upect.' 



t 6o Roister Doister [^ct. III 

PI. Plery. Will ye doe no harme in deede, shall I trust yourworde? *o 
R. Royster. By Roister Doisters fayth I will speake but in 
borde. 
Sire Sure. Let us hearken them, somwhat there is I feare it. 
R. Royster. I will speake out aloude, I care not who heare it: 
Sirs, see that rny harnesse, my tergat, and my shield, 
Be made as bright now, as when I was last in fielde, 
As white as I shoulde to warre againe to morrowe : 
For sicke shall I be, but I worke some folke sorow. 
Therfore see that all shine as bright as sainct George, 
Or as doth a key newly corne from the Smiths forge. 
I woulde have my sworde and harnesse to shine so 
bright, 1 1: iii b 20 
That I might therwith dimme mine enimies sight, 
I would bave it cast beames as fast I tell you playne, 
As doth the glittryng grasse after a showre of raine. 
And see that in case I shoulde neede to corne to arming 
Ail things may be ready Et a minutes warning, 
For such chaunce may chaunce in an boute» do ye heare ? 
PI. Plery. As perchance shall hot chaunce againe in seven yeare. 
R. Royster. Now draw we neare to hir, and here what shall be sayde. 
[Idt,ance toward CuJt.] 
Pl. Plery. But I woulde not have 'ou make hir too muche afravde. 
R. Royster. XVell founde sweete wife 2 (I trust) for al this your soute 
looke. 3o 
C. Custanc«. XVife, why cal ye me wife ? 
8ira Sure. [enters while the last words are spoen]. XVife? this gear 
goth acrook. 
lI. Plery. Nay mistresse Custance, I warrant you, our letter 
Is not as we redde een nowe, but much better 
And where ye halle stomaked this gentleman afore, 
For this same letter ye wvll love hym now therefore, 35 
Nor it is not this letter, though 'ce were a queene, 
That shoulde breake marriage bétweene you twaine I weene. 
C. Custance. I did not refuse hvm for the letters sake. 
R. Royster. Then ye are content me for your husbande to take. 
I Taken from Plautus» «llil. Glr. I.i.  Cf. IV. i» 



III] Roister Doister 16  

C. Custanc«. You for my husbande to take ? nothing lesse truely. 4 
R. Royst«r. Yea say so, sweete spouse, afore straungers hardly. 
AI. 3/Iery. And though I have here his letter of love with me, 
Yet his ryng and tokens he sent, keepe safe with ye. 
C. Custance. A mischiefe take his tokens, and him and thee too. 
But what prate I with fooles ? bave I nought else to doo ? 45 
Come in with me Sym Suresby to take some repast. 
8im Sure. I must ere I drinke by your leave, goe in ail hast, 
To a place or two, with earnest letters of his. 
C. Custance. Then come drink here with me. 
8im Sure. I thank you. 
C. Custance. Do hot misse. 
You shall have a token to your maister with you. 5 ° 
8ym 8ur«. No tokens this time gramercies, God be with you. 
Exeat. 
C. Custance. Surely this fellowe misdeemeth some yll in me. 
Which thing but God helpe, will go neere to spill me. 
R. Royster. Yea farewell fellow, and tell thy maister Goodlucke 
That he cometh to late of thys blossome to plucke, v i, 55 
Let him keepe him there still, or at least wise make no hast. 
As for his labour hither he shall spende in wast. 
His betters be in place nowe. 
PI. l'bIery [aside]. As long as it will hold. 
C. Custance. I will be even with thee thou beast, thou maïst be 
bolde. 
R. Royster. XVill ye bave us then ? 60 
C. Custance. I will never bave thee. 1 
R. Royster. Then will I have you ! 
C. Custance. No, the devill shall bave thee. 
I bave gotten this boute more shame and harme by thee, 
Then ail thy life davs thou canst do me honestie. 
A4. A4ery [to Roister]. gVhy nowe may ye see what it comth too 
in the ende, 
To make a deadly foe of vour most loving frende : 6 5 
[To Custance]. And ywis this letter ifyewoulde heare it now-- 
C. Custance. I will heare none of it. 
1 Note the ' thee' and «)'ou.' 



169- Roister Doister [^cr. ,, 

1f. gl,Iery [to Cust.]. In faith would ravishe you. 
C. Custance. He hath stained my name for ever this is cleare. 
R. Royster. I can make ail as well in an houre-- 
I. l«ry [aside]. As ten yeare- 
[ To Cust.]. How say ye, will ye have him ? 70 
C. Custancc. No. 
21,I. «llery. ,Vill ye take him ? 
C. Custance. I defie him. 
AI. «[ery. At my word ? 
C. Custance. A shame take him. 
XVaste no more wynde, for it will never bee. 
I. «IIery. This one faulte with twaine shall be mended, ye shall see. 
Gentle mistresse Cstance now, good mistresse Cstance, 
Honey mistresse Cstance now, sweete mistresse Cstance, 75 
Golden mistresse Cstance now, white  mistresse Cstance, 
Silken mistresse Cstance now, faire mistresse Cstance. 
C. Custance. Faith rather than to mary with suche a doltishe loute, 
I woulde matche my selfe with a beggar out of doute. 
I. 21,lery. Then I can say no more, to speede we are not like, 80 
Except ye rappe out a ragge of your Rhetorike. 
C. Custance. Speake not of winnyng me: for it shall never be so. 
R. Royster. Yes dame, I will have you whether ye will or no, 
I commaunde you to love me, wherfore shoulde ye not ? 
Is not my love to you chafing and burning hot ? 8 5 
26I. Iery. Too hir, that is well sayd. 
R. Rovster. Shall I so breake my braine 
"'o dote upon you, and ye not love us againe ? 
2bi. I«ry. ,Vel sayd yet. 
C. Custance. Go to [,] you goose. 
R. Royster. I say Kit Custance, 
In case ye will not haze,  well, better yes perchaunce. 1: iv  
C. Custance. Avaunt lozell, a picke thee hence. 9o 
I. 3,[«ry. XVell sir, ye perceive, 
For ail vour kinde offer, she will not you receive. 
R. Royster. hen a strawe for hir, and a strawe for hir againe, 
She shall hOt be my wife, woulde she never so faine, 
1 Cf. I. i, 4-9-  Cf. III. iv» 7» g- I lubber or lout. 



sc. mi Roister Doister  6 3 

No and though she would be at ten thousand pounde cost. 
/14. A4ery. Lo dame, ye may see what an husbande ye have lost. 95 
C. Custance. Yea, no force, a jewell touche better lost than 
founde. 
/14. A4ery. Ah, ye wili not beleve how this doth my heart wounde. 
How shoulde a mariage betwene you be towarde, 
If both parties drawe backe, and become so frowarde. 
R. Royster [threatening, advancing upon Cust.]. Nay dame, I will 
tire thee out of thy bouse, 1 
And destroy thee and ail thine, and that by and by. 
d//. A4"ery. Nay for the passion of God sir, do not so. 
R. Royster. Yes, except she will say yea to that she sayd no. 
. Oustance. And what, be there no oflicers trow we, in towne 
To checke idle loytrers, z braggyng up and downe ? Io 5 
Where be they, by whome vacabunds shoulde be represt 
That poore sillie 3 ,Vidowes might lire in peace and rest. 
Shall I never ridde thee out of my companie ? 
I wiii call for heipe, what hough, corne forth Trupenie. 
Trupenie [entering]. Anon. What is your will mistresse ? dyd ye 
call me . I o 
G Gustance. Yea, go runne apace, and as fast as may be, 
Pray Tristram Trusty, my moste assured ffende» 
To be here by and by, that he may me defende. 
Trupenie. That message so quickly shall be done by Gods grace, 
That at my returne ye shall say, I went apace. Exeat.  I5 
C. Custance. Then shall we see I trowe, whether ye shall do me 
harme, 
R. Royster. Yes in faith Kitte, I shail thee4 and thine so charme, 
That ail women incarnate by thee may beware. 
C. Custance. Nay, as for charming me, corne hither if thou dare, 
I shall cloute thee tyll thou stinke, both thee and thy traine,  2o 
And coy.le thee mine owne handes, and sende thee home 
agalne. 
R. Royster. Yea sa,est thou me that dame ? dost thou me threaten ? 
Goe we, I stiil see whether I shall be beaten. G i 
1 C. adds the rhyme : ' though I die." 8 simple, timid. 
s See Appendix F. 



16 4 Roister Doister [^c. ,m 

I. Iery. Nay for the palshe 1 of God, let me now treate peace, 
For bloudshed will there be in case this strife increace. 12 5 
Ah good dame Custance take better way with you. 
C. Custance. Let him do his worst. 
I. Ier)'. [ Roister advances upon Cust., attempts to strlke]. Yeld in 
time. [to Cust.] 
R. Royster [is beaten back by Cust. i retiring to llIery. :]. Corne hence 
thou. Exeant Roister et Mery. 

Actus. iiii. Scoena. iiii. 

CHKISTIAN CUSTANCEo ANOT ALYFACE. TIBET T. M. IUMBLECKIJSTo 

C. Custance. So sirra, if I should not with hym take this way, 
I should hot be ridde of him I thinke till doomes day, 
I will call forth my folkes, that without any mockes 
If he corne agayne we may give him rappes and knockes. 
Mage Mumblecrust, come forth, and Tibet Talke apace. 5 
Yea and come forth too, mistresse Annot Alyface. 
[Enter tbe maids.] 
Atnnot Cl),. I come. 
Tibet. And I ara here. 
AL llIumb. And I ara here too at length. 
C. Custance. Like warriers if nede bee, ye must shew your strength 
The man that this day hath thus begiled you, 
Is Ralph Roister Doister, whome ye know well inowe, z IO 
The moste loute and dastarde that ever on grounde trode. 
Tib. Talk. I see all folke mocke hym when he goth abrode. 
G. Gustance. XVhat pretie maide ? will ye talke when I speake i  
Tib. Talk. No forsooth good mistresse. 
C. Custance. XVill ye my tale breake ? 
He threatneth to come hither with all his force to fight, I 5 
I charge you if he come[:]on him with ail your might[!] 
11I. zlIumbL I with my distaffe will reache hym one rappe, 
Tib. Talk. And I with my newe broome will sweepe hym one 
swappe 
Cf. v. toz «passion" ; «pashe' IV. vli, St ; IV. viii, 52.  A. reads «mowe»" C. «inowe.' 



c. ri Roister Doister I 0 5 

And then with out greate clubbe I will reache hym one 
rappe [--] 
/In. lliface. And I with out skimmer will fling him one flappe. 2o 
Tib. Talk. Then Trupenies fireforke will him shrewdly fray, 
And you with the spitte may drive him quite away. 
C. Custance. Go make ail ready, that it may be een so. G i  
Tib. Talk. For my parte I shrewe them that last about it go. 
Exeant. 

Actus. iiii. Scoena. v. 

CttRISTIAN CUSTANCE. TRUPENIE. TRISTgAI TgUSTY. C. CUSTANCE. 

C. Custance. Trupenie dyd promise me to runne a great pace, 
My friend Tristram Trusty to set into this place. 
Indeede he dwelleth hence a good stert I I confesse: 
But yet a quicke messanger might twice since[,] as I gesse, 
Have gone and corne againe. Ah yond I spie him now. 5 
Trupeny [enters witb Trusty, wbom he leaves behind]. Ye are a slow 
goer sir, I make God avow. 
My mistresse Custance will in me put ail the blame. 
Your leggs be longer than mvne : come apace for shame. 
G. Gustance. I can  thee thanke Trupenie, thou hast donc right wele. 
Trupeny. Maistresse since I went no grasse hath growne on my hele, I o 
But maister Tristram Trustie here maketh no speede. 
C. Gustance. That he came at ail I thanke him in very deede, 
For now have I neede of the helpe of some wise man. 
"1". Trusty. Then may I be gone againe, for none such I [a]m. 
Trupenie. Ye may bee by your going : for no Alderman 15 
Can goe I dare say, a sadder pace than ye can. 
C. Custance. Trupenie get thee in, thou shalt among them knowe 
How to use thy selle, like a propre man I trowe. 
Trupeny. I go. [Ex.] 
C. Custance. Now Tristram Trusty I thank you right much. 
For at my first sending to corne ye never grutch, zo 
T. Trusty. Dame Custance God ye saue, and while mv life shall last, 
For my friende Goodlucks sake ye shall hot sentie in wast. 
I Cf. Cotgr., Tressault : A start . . . also, a leap. 2 Cf. I. ii, 



 66 Roister Doister [cr. m 

C. Custance. He shal give you thanks. 
T. Trusty. 1 will do much for his sake [!] 
C. Custance. But alack, I feare, great displeasure shall be take. 
T. Trusty. Wherfore ? 
C. Custance. For a foolish matter. 
T. Trusty. What is your cause [?] 
C. Custance. I am yll accombred with a couple of dawes. 
T. Trusty. Nayweepenotwoman: but tell mewhatyourcauseis 
As concerning my friende is any thing amisse ? 
C. Custance. No hot on my part : but here was Sym Suresby 
T. Trustie. He was with me and told me so. 3o 
C. Custance. And he stoode by 
While Ralph Roister Doister with he|pe of Merygreeke, 
For promise of mariage dyd unto me seeke. 1 
T. Trusty. And had ye made any promise before them twaine [?] 
G. Custance. No I had rather be torne in pieces and flaine, 
No man hath mv faith and trouth, but Gawyn Goodlucke, 35 
And that before Suresby dyd I say, and there stucke, 
But of certaine letters there were suche words spoken. 
T. Trusîie. He tolde me that too. 
C. Custance. And of a ring and token. 
That Suresby I spied, dyd more than halfe suspect, 
That I my faith to Gawyn Goodlucke dyd reiect. 4 ° 
T. Trusty. But there was no such matter dame Custance in 
deede ? 
C. Custance. If ever my head thought it, God sende me yll speede. 
Wherfore I beseech you, with me to be a witnesse, 
That in ail my lyfe I never intended thing lesse, 
And what a brainsicke foole Ralph Roister Doister is, 45 
Your selle know well enough. 
T. Trusty. Ye say full true ywis. 
6". Custance. Bicause to bee his wife I ne graunt nor applyœe 
Hither will he com he sweareth by and by, 
To kill both me and myne, and beate downe my house fiat. 
Therfore I pray your aide. 
T. Trustie. I warrant you that. 
1 Cf. II! iii. 17 ; III. iv» 8 5 . 



,c. ,] Roister Doister  6 7 

C. Custance. Have I so many yeres lived a sobre lire, 
And shewed my selfe honest, mayde, widowe, and wyfe 
And nowe tobe abused in such a vile sorte, 
Ye see howe poore Widowes lyre ail voyde of comfort. 
T. Trusty. I warrant hym do you no harme nor wrong at ail. 55 
C. Custance. No, but Mathew Merygreeke doth me most appall, 1 
That he woulde joyne hym selfe with suche a wretched loute. 
T. Trusty. He doth it for a jest I knowe hym out of doubte, 
And here cometh Merygreke. 
C. Custance. Then shal we here his mind. 

Actus. iiii. Scoena. vi. 

MERYGREKE. CHRISTIAN CtrSTANCE. TRIST. TRtrSTY. 

114. ll4ery. Custance and Trustie both, I doe you here well finde. 
C. Custance. Ah Mathew Merygreeke, ye have used me well. 
M. A/lery. Nowe for altogether 2 ye must your answere tell. 
Will ye have this man, woman ? or else will ye hot ? 
Else will he corne never bore so brymme a nor tost so hot. 
Tris. and Cu. But why joyn ye with him. 
T. Trusty. For mirth ? 
C. Custance. Or else in sadnesse [?] 
M. A4ery. The more fond of you both ! hardly ye4 mater gesse [ ! ] 
Tristram. Lo how say ye dame ? 
A4. Mer.v. Why do ye thinke dame Custance 
That in this wowyng I have ment ought but pastance ? 
C. Custance. 6 Much things ye spake, I wote, to maintaine his do- 
tage.  o 
114. Iery. But well might ye judge I spake it ail in mockage ?  
For why ? Is Roister Doister a fitte husband for you ? 

Sherwood, To appali : Esmayer, descourager. 
once for ail. 
breme, brim, furlous ; cf. V. 34-- 
So in E. C. reads correctly ' the" ; but A. has « yat,' and M. ' that.' 
The names of the speakers in vv. *o and ,  are by mistake in inverse order in E. 
' mockage' is neither English nor French. Palsgr., Cotgr., etc., do hot have it i Halli- 
quotes it from ' Collier's Old Ballads 48 i Harrison, z35.'" 



z 68 Roister Doister [c. m, 

T. Trust.v. I dare say ye never thought it. 
]I. lerv. No to God I vow. 
And did not I knowe afore of the insurance 1 
Betweene Gawyn Goodlucke, and Christian Custance ? z 5 
And dyd not 1 for the nonce, by my conveyance,  
Reade his letter in a wrong sense for daliance ? 
That if you coulde have take it up at the first bounde, 
We should therat such a sporte and pastime have founde, 
That ail the whole towne should have ben the merier. 2o 
C. Custance. III ake vour heades both, I was never werier, 
Nor never more vexte since the first day I was borne. 
T. Trusty. But verv well I wist he here did ail in scorne. 
C. Custance. But lfeared thereof to take dishonestie. 
cil lery. This should both have made sport, and shewed your 
honestie 2 5 
And Goodlucke I dare sweare, your witte therin would low. 
T. Trusty. Yea, being no worse than we know it to be now. 
I. Alerv. And nothing yet to late, for when I corne to him, 
Hither will he repaire with a sheepes looke full grim, 
Bv plaine force and violence to drive you to yelde. G iii 30 
C. Cus'tance. If ve two bidde me, we will with him pitche a fielde, 
I and mv maides together. 
gfI. «|lery. Lét us see, be bolde. 
C. Custance. Ye shall see womens warre. 
T. Trustr. That fight wil I behold. 
3I. AI«ry. If occasion serve, takyng his parte full brim, 
I will strike at you, but the rappe shall light on him. 35 
XVhen we tirst appeare. 
C. Custance. Then will I runne away 
As though I were afeard. 
T. Trust)'. Do vou that part wel play 
And I will sue for peace. 
AI. glerv. And I wil set him on. 
Then will he looke as tierce as a Cotssold lyon. a 
I Sec II. iii, 3z. 2 Cf. the figure of Crafty Conueyaunce in Skelton's 21fagnyfycence. 
s the ' Cotswold lyon" is the 'sheepe" of v. 29i cf. Heywood, Pro'o. I. ch. ** (78 ): 
« as tierce as a Lion of Cotsolde' i Tbersites (Dodsley x, 403), etc. 



sc. vu] ]oister Doister  6 9 

T. Trusty. But when gost thou for him ? 40 
AI. lery. That do I very nowe. 
C. Custance. Ye shall find us here. 
]kl. A4ery. Wel god have mercy on you. Ex. 
T. Trusty. There is no cause of feare, the least boy in the streete : 
C. Custance. Nay, the least gifle 1 have, will make him take his 
feete. 
But hearke, me thinke they make preparation. 
T. Trusty. No force, it will be a good recreation. 45 
C. Custance. I will stand within, and steppe forth speedlly, 
And so make as though I tanne away dreadfully. [Exeant.] 

Actus. iiii. Scoena. vii. 

R. ROYSTER. M, MERYGREEKE. C. Cts'rAc. D. Dotcm'n. HARPAX. 
TRISTRAM TRUSTY. 

R. Royster. Nowe sirs, keepe your ray,  and see your heartes be stoute, 
But where be these caitifes, me think they dare not route, z 
How sayst thou Merygreeke ? ,Vhat doth Kit Custance say ? 
A,I. lery. I ara loth to tell you. 
R. Rovster. Tushe speake man, yea or nay ? 
I. lery. Forsooth sir, I have spoken for you ail that I can. 5 
But if ye winne hir, ye must een play the man, 
Een to fight it out, ye must a mans heart take. 
R. Royster. Yes, they shall know, and  thou knowest I have a 
stomacke. 
[A,I. lery.] A stomacke (quod you) yea, as good as ere man 
had. G i b 
R. Royster. I trowe they shall finde and feele that I ara a lad. fo 
M. llery. By this crosse I bave seene you eate your meate as well, 
As any that ere I have seene of or heard tell, 
A stomacke quod you ? he that will that denie 
I know was never at dynner in your companie. 
a line, array.  H. changes ' and" into * a." 
 Cf. Palsg. 695 : assemble in routes, styrre about. 



 7 ° Roister Doister [c. 

R. Roster. 
Pl. PIer. 
R. Roster. 
M. «y. 
a pie. 

Nay, the stomacke of a man it is that I meane.  5 
Nay the stomacke of a horse or a dogge I weene. 
Nay a mans stomacke with a weapon meane L 
Ten men can scarce match you with a spoone in 

R. Royster. Nay the stomake of a man to trie in strife. 
AL PIery. I never sawe your stomake cloyed yet in my lyfe. 20 
R. Rovster. Tushe I meane in strife or fighting to trie. 
PI. hier.v. XVe shall see how ye will strike nowe being angry. 
R. Royster [strikes PI.l. Have at thy pate then, and save thy head 
if thou may. 
AI. PIery. [strikes R. again]. Nay then have at your pare agayne by 
this day, 
R. Rovster. Nay thou mavst hOt strike at me againe in no wise. 
PI. PIery. I can not in fiht make to you suche warrantise: 
But as for vour foes here let them the bargaine bie. 1 
R. Royster. Nay as for they, shall every mothers childe die. 
And in this mv fume a little thing might make me, 
To beate dowhe house and all, and else the devill take me. 3o 
PI. Plêrv. If I were as ve be, by gogs deare mother, 
I woulde not leave'one stone upon an other. 
Though she wouide redeeme it with twentie thousand poundes. 
R. Rovster. It shall be even so, by his lily woundes. 
Pl. il4ery. Bee not atone with hir upon any amendes. 35 
R. Rovster. No though she make to me never so many frendes. 
Nor if all the worlde for hir woulde undertake, 2 
No not God hvmselfe neither, shal hOt hir peace make, 
On therfore, marche forwarde,-- soft, stay a whyle yet. [ ! ] 
I. «|I,'ry. On. 4 ° 
R. Ro'ster. Tary. 
PI. PIery. Forth. 
R. Roster. Back. 
Pl. ery. On. 
R. Royster. Soft. Now forward set. [marcb against tbe house.] 
C. Cu,tan«« [«nt«ring:]. Vhat businesse have we here? out [ !] 
alas, alas ! [retires for fu».] 
I Cf. "chieve, "low. « intercede. 



Raister Daister 

171 

R. Royster. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. 
Dydst thou see that Merygreeke ? how afrayde she was ? 
Dydst thou see how she fledde apace out of my sight ? [G 
Ah good sweete Custance I pitie hir bv this light. 45 
114. A4ery. That tender heart of yours wyll marre altogether, 
Thus will ye be turned with waggyng of a fether. 
R. Royster. On sirs, keepe your ray. 
M. A4ery. On forth, while this geare is hot 
R. Royster. Soft, the Armes of Caleys, I have one thing forgot. 
/14. A4ery. What lacke we now ? 50 
R. Royster. Retire, or else we be ail slain. 
kI. klery. Backe for the pashe of God, backe sirs, backe 
againe. 
What is the great mater ? 
R. Royster. This hastie forth goyng 
Had almost brought us ail to utter undoing, 
It ruade me forget a thing most necessarie. 
M. klery. Well remembered of a captaine by sainct Marie. 55 
R. Royster. It is a thing must be had. 
34. 34ery. Let us have it then. 
R. Royster. But I wote hOt where nor how. 
114. 34ery. Then wote not I when. 
But what is it ? 
R. Royster. Of a chiefe thing I ara to seeke. 
114. 34ery. Tut so will ye be, when ye have studied a weke. 
But tell me what it is ? 6o 
R. Royster. I lacke yet an hedpiece. 
114. 34ery. The kitchen collocauit, 1 the best hennes to grece, 
Runne, let it Dobinet, and corne at once withall, 
And bryng with thee my potgunne, hangyng by the wall, 

I have seene your head with it full manv a tyme, 
Covered as safe as it had bene with a slrine : 

[ Doinet goes] 
65 

l Joo: formation ; probably a "collok,'" a (kitchen) pail (Nord,-Engl. acc. to Halliwell). 
A large pall generally with an erect handle in Yorks, Lancash, etc. (Wrlght, Diai. Dict.). 
Cf. Heywood, Pro'o. z, ch. 7, '« give )'ou a recumbentibu,.'" If this fine Latin ending was a 
chool-joke it would be of chronological importance. 



 7 . Roister Doister [^cT. u. 

And I warrant it save your head from any stroke, 
Except perchaunce to be amased : with the smoke: 
I warrant your head therwith, except for the mist, 
As safe as if it were fast locked up in a chist : [Dob. enterJ] 
And loe here our Dobinet commeth with it nowe. 7o 
D. Dough. I will cover me to the shoulders well inow. 
I. lIery. Let me see it on. 
R. Royster. In fayth it doth metely well. 
I. klery. There can be no titrer thing. Now ye must us tell 
lVhat to do. 
R. Royster. Now forth in ray sirs, and stoppe no more. 73 
I. 2Iery. Now sainct George to borowoe Drum dubbe a dubbe afore. 
T. Trusty. [entering]. gVhat meane you to do sir, committe man- 
slaughter. 
R. Royster. To kvll fortie such, is a matter of laughter. 
T. Trust),. And who is it sir, whome ye intende thus to spill ? G iv b 
R. Royster. Foolishe Custance here forceth me against mv will. 
T. Trusty. And is there no meane your extreme wrath to slake. 80 
She shall some amendes unto your good mashyp make. 
R. Royster. I will none amendes. 
T. Trusty. Is hir offence so sore ? 
iii. /lier.v. And he were a loute she coulde have done no more. 
She bath calde him foole, and dressed him like a foole. 
Mocked him lyke z foole, used him like a foole. 85 
T. Trust.v. gVell vet the Sheriffe, the Justice, or Cnstable, 
Hir misdemeanour to punishe might be able. 
R. Rovster. No sir, I mine owne selfe will in this present cause, 
le Sheriffe, and Justice, and whole Judge of the lawes, 
This matter to amende, ail officers be I shall, 9 ° 
Constable, Bailiffe, Sergeant. 
 klery. And hangman and ail. 
T. Trusty. Yet a noble courage, and the hearte of a man 
Should more honour winne bv bearyng with a woman. 
Therfore take the lawe, and ette hir aunswere thereto. 
R. Royster. Merygreeke, the best way were even so to do. 95 
I Stupefied ; cf. Palsgr. p. 4zL 
 for security ; sec Rob.}'n Hode st. 6 3 ; Coc Lorel Bote, etc. 



c. ,,] Roister Doister  7 3 

%Vhat honour should it be with a woman to fight ? 
1I. lIery. And what then, will ye thus forgo and lese your 
right ? 
R. Royster. Nay, I will take the lawe on hir withouten grace. 
"1: Trusty. Or yf your mashyp coulde pardon this one trespace. 
I pray you forgive hir. IOO 
R. Royster. Hoh ? 
3/1. 3/Iery. Tushe tushe sir do not. 
Be good maister to hir. 
R. Royster. Hoh ? 
11,I../klêry. Tush I say do hOt. 
And what shall your people here returne streight home ? 
T. Trustie. Yea, levie the campe sirs, and hence againe eche one, 1 
R. Royster. But be still in readinesse if I happe to call, 
I can not tell what sodaine chaunce may befall, fo 5 
II. 3/Iery. Do hOt off" your harnesse sirs I you advise, 
At the least for this fortnight in no maner wise, 
Perchaunce in an houre when ail ye thinke least, 
Our maisters appetite to fight will be best. 
But soft, ere ye go, have once at Custance house. 1 Io 
R. Royster. Soft, what wilt thou do ? 
3/1. 3/Iery. Once discharge mv harquebouse 
And for my heartes ease, Iave once more with my potgoon. H i 
R. Rovster. Holde thy handes else is ail our purpose cleane fordoone. 
]fI. 3/Icry. And it cost me my lire. 
R. Rayster. I say thou shalt not. 
3/I. Iery [making a mock assault]. By the mattebut I will. Have 
once more with haile shot. z 15 
I will bave some penyworth, I will not leese ail. 

1 T. in addressing the ' Mlles ' goes on with his military jargon. In E. this line is assigned 
to Royster, and the next two lines ffom  But ' to  befall ' to T. Trustie. 
 B)" the mare ! 



z 7 Roister Doister [^cr. ,m 

Actus. iiii. Scoena. viii. 1 

M. MERYGREEgE. 
M. MUMBLECRUST. 

C. CUS'^NC. R. RO[S'ER. Tre. T. 
TRtPlNII. DonmlT DOtGSTI. 
drumme evitb tbeir Ensigne. 

AN. ALYFAC£. 
I"IARPAX. T¢0O 

C. Custance. What caitifes are those that so shake my house wall ? 
bi. A4ery [with a sly wink]. Ah sirrha I-!] now Custance if ye had 
so touche wit 
I woulde see you aske pardon, and your selves submit. 
C. Custance, Have I still this adoe with a couple of fooles ? 
AI. /Iery. Here ve what she saith ? 5 
C. Custance. Madens come forth with your tooles. 
R. Royster. In a ray. 
214. Alery. Dubba dub sirrha. 
R. Royster. In a ray. 
They corne sodainly on us, 
114. Alery. Dubbadub. 
R. Royster. In a ray. 
That ever I was borne, we are taken tardie. 
114. A4erv. Now sirs, quite out selves like tall men and hardie. 
C. Custance. On afore Trupenie, holde thyne owne Annot, 
On towarde them Tibet, for scape us they can hOt. 
Come forth Madge Mumblecrust, so stande fast togither. 
I. A4ery. God sende us a faire day. 
R. Royster. See they marche on hither. 
Tib. Talk. But mistresse. 
C. Custance. Vhat sayst [th]ou ?  
Tib. Shall I go fet our goose ? a 
C. Custance. What to do ? l.ç 
Tib. To yonder Captain I will turne hir loose 
And she gape and hisse at him, as she doth at'me, 
I durst jeoparde my bande she wyll make him flee. 
1 IV. viii, Cf. Plaut. Miles, v. 1394- seoE. 2 E. has * you.' 
a the * goose ' would produce the saine effect as the ' trtall ' in TEersites. 



«. ,,,] Roister Doister  75 

C. Custance. On forward. 
R. Royster. They com. 
A4. Mery. Stand. 
R. Royster. Hold. 
M. Mery. Kepe. 
R. Royster. There. 
M. Mery. Strike. 
R. Royster. Take heede. 

[ They flght; M. hitting R 

C. Custance. Wel sayd Truepeny. 
Trupeny. Ah whooresons. 
C. Custance. Wel don in deede 
M. Mery. Hold thine owne Harpax, downe with them Dobinet. o 
Hi b 
G. Custance. Now Madge, there Annot : now sticke them Tibet. 
Tib. Talk. [against Dob.]. Ail my chiefe quarell is to this saine little 
knave, 
That begyled me last day, nothyng shall him save. 
D. Dough. Downe with this litle queane, that hath at me such spite, 
Save you from hir maister, it is a very sprite. 5 
C. Custance. I my selle will mounsire graundel captaine undertake, 
[advance against Roiter.] 
R. Royster. They win grounde. 
M. Mery. Save your selle sir, for gods sake. 
R. Royster [retiring, beaten]. Out, alas, I ara slaine, helpe. 
M. Mery. Save your selle. 
R. Royster. Alas. 
A4. A4ery. Nay then, have at you mistresse. 
[pretending to strike Cust., he bits Roist.] 
R. Royster. Thou hittest me, alas. 
A4. Mery. I wil strike at Custance here. [again hitting R.] 3 ° 
R. Royster. Thou hittest me. 
M. Mery. [aside]. So I wil. 
Nay mistresse Custance. 
R. Royster. Alas, thou hittest me still. 
Hold. o 

I Heywood, Pro. I, ch. 5 (21) : "thus be I by thls once le senior degraunde, I 
that commaund me, I shall commaunde." 



I 7 6 Roister Doister [ACT. ,,,,. sc. v] 

2I. Alery. Save your self sir. 
R. Royster. Help, 1 out alas I am slain 
]bi. lllery. Truce, hold your hands, truce for a pissing while or 
twaine : 
Nay how say you Custance, for saving of vour life, 
Vill ye yelde and graunt to be this gentmans wife ? 35 
C. Custance. Ye tolde me he loved me call ye this love ? 
I. lery. He loved a while even like a turtle dove. 
C. Custance. Gay love God save it, so soone hotte so soone 
colde, 9- 
]bi. lêry. I am sory for you : he could love you yet so he coulde. 
R. Rovster. Nav by cocks precious3 she shall be none of mine. 4 ° 
]bi. ]bIêrv. .Vhy so ? 
R. Royster. Corne away, by the matte she is mankine. 4 
I durst adventure the losse of my right hande, 
If shee dyd not slee hir other husbande : 
And see if she prepare not againe to fight. 
]bi. Iery. .Vhat then ? sainct George to borow, our Ladies 
knight) 45 
R. Rovster. Slee else whom she will, by gog she shall not slee mee. 
I. ]blery. How then ? 
R. Royster. Rather than to be slaine, I will flee. 
C. Custance. Too it againe, mv knightesses, downe with them ail. 
R. Rovster. Away, away, away, she will else kvll us ail. 
]bi. lIery. Nay sticke toit, like an hardie man" and a tall. 50 
R. Royster. Oh bones,  thou hittest me. Away, or else die we 
shall. 
)I. AIêry. Away for the pashe of our sweete Lord Jesus Christ. 
C. Custance. Away loute and lubber, or I shall be thv priest. 
Exeant [RoMter and bis "army.'] 
So this fielde is ours we have driven them ail away. n il 
Ttb Talk. Thankes to God mistresse, ye have had a faire day. 
1 Cf. zllil. Glor. *4.06. 
2 Hcywood's Pro. z, ch. $; ib. G ch. z; Camden Pro. ZTO  Ray, etc. 
 Sec the complete oath, III. iv, *z7. 
 masculine, fufious. 
 See Child's Ba//ads Index ; Fliigel's Le*ebuclo, 44o. 
 Gog's bones, G. G. N. passim.  E. bas the stage direction : Exeant oto 



[ACT. 1/. SC.I] Roister Doister 77 

C Custance. XVell nowe goe ye in, and make your selfe some good 
cheere. 
Omnes pariter. Ve goe [!-- Exeant Custance' matdens]. 
T. Trust. Ah sir, what a field we bave had heere. 
C. Custance. Friend Tristram, I pray ),ou be a witnesse with me. 
T. Trustv. Dame Custance, I shall depose for your honestie, 
.And nowe rare ye well, except some thing else ye wolde. 6o 
G. Custance. Not now, but when I nede to sende I will be 
bolde. 
I thanke you for these paines. [Exeat Trusty. 1] And now I 
wyll get me in, 
l'qow Roister Doister will no more wowyng begin. Ex. 6 3 

Actus. v. Scoena. i. 

GAWYN GOODLUCKE. S','¢I SUI'.ESBY. 

Sym Suresby mv trustie man, nowe advise thee well, 
And see that no false surmises thou me tell, 
XVas there such adoe about Custance of a truth 
8ira. Sure. To reporte that I hearde and sawe, to me is ruth, 
But both my duetie and name and propretie, 
Varneth me to vou to shewe fidelitie, 
It may be well enough, and I wyshe it so to be, 
She may hir selfe discharge and trie a hir honestie, 
Yet their clavme to hir me thought was very large, 
For with letters rings  and tokens, they dvd hir charge, to 
Vhich when I hearde and sawe I would none to you bring. 
G. Goodl. No, by sainct Marie, I allowe thee in that thing. 
Ah sirra, nowe I see truthe in the proverbe olde, 
Ail things that shineth is not by and by  pure golde, 
If any doe lyre a woman of honestie, 
I would have sworne Christian Custance had bene shee. n 

t The Exeat in E. stands at the end of 6. 
 natural disposition. 
8 make proofof; cf. Palsgr. p. 762. 

C£ Plaut. 2llde, v. 957 (IV. i, Il). 
straightway, therefore. 
Note the rhyme. 



 7 8 Roister Doister [^er.  

Sire Sure. Sir, though I to you be a servant true and just. 
Yet doe not ye therfore your faithfull spouse mystrust. 
But examine the matter, and if ye shall it finde, H il  
To be ail well, be not ye for mv wordes unkinde. 20 
G. Goodl. I shall do that is right, and as I see cause why. 
But here commeth Gustance forth, we shal know by and by. 

Actus. v. Scoena. ii. 

C. CI2STAICE. GaWYN GOODLUCKE. SYM SURE$BY. 

G. Custance. I corne forth to see and hearken for newes good, 
For about this houre is the tyme of likelyhood, 
That Gawvn Goodlucke by the sayings of Suresby, 
,Vould be at home, and lo yond I see hym I. 
What Gawyn Goodlucke, the onely hope of mv lire, 
Welcome home, and kysse me vour true espoused wi[e. 
Ga. Good. Nay sort dame Custance,'I must first by your licence, 
See whether ail things be cleere in your conscience, 

I heare of vour doings to me very straunge. 

C,. Custance. What feare ye ? that my faith towardes you should 
chaunge ? o 
Ga. Good. I must needes mistrust ye be elsewhere entangled. 
For I heare that certaine men with you have wrangled 
About the promise of mariage by you to them made. 
C. Custance. Coulde anv mans reporte your minde therein persuade ? 
Ga. Good. gVell, ye must therin declare your selle to stande 
cleere,  5 
Else I and you dame Custance mav hOt joyne this yere. 
C. Custance. Then woulde I were déad, and faire layd in my 
grave» 
Ah Suresby, is this the honestie that ye bave ? 
To hurt me with your report, hOt knowyng the thing. 
Sire Sure. If ye be honest my wordes can hurte you nothing. 2o 
But what I hearde and sawe, I might not but report. 
C. Custance. Ah Lorde, helpe poore widowes, destitute of comfort. 



c. III] Roister Doister  79 

Truly most deare spouse, nought was done but for pastance. 
G. Good. But such kynde of sporting is homely  daliance. 
G Gtance. If ye knewe the truthe ye would take ail in good 
parte. H iii 2 5 
Ga. Good. By your leave I am not halfe well skilled in that arte. 
G. Custance. It was none but Roister Doister that foolishe morne.  
Ga. Good. Yea Custance, better (theï sa),) a badde scuse than 
none. - 
U. Uustance. Wh), Tristram Trustie sir, your true and faithfull 
frende, 
Was privie bothe to the beginning and the ende. 3o 
Let him be the Judge, and for me testifie. 
Ga. Good. I will the more credite that he shall verifie, 
And bicause I will the truthe know een as it is, 
I will to him my selfe, and know ail without misse. 
Come on Sym Suresby, that before my friend thou may 35 
Avouch the same wordes, which thou dydst to me say. £xeant. 

Actus. v. Scoena. iii. 

CHRISTIAN CUSTANCEo 

C,. C, ustance. 0 Lorde, howe necessarie it is nowe of dayes, 
That eche bodie lire uprightly all maner wayes, 
For lette never so little a gappe be open, 
And be sure of this, the worst shall be spoken [.] 
Howe innocent stande I in this for deede or thought, 4 5 
And yet see what mistrust towardes me it hath wrought [.] 
But thou Lorde knowest ail folkes thoughts and eke intents 
And thou arte the deliverer of ail innocentes. 
Thou didst helpe the advoutresse  that she might be amended, 
Much more then helpe Lorde, that never yll intended. Io 
Thou didst helpe 8usanna wrongfully accused, 
And no lesse dost thou see Lorde, how I am now abused, 

Cf. Sherwood, s. v. : . . ' rude,' ' simple," ' vil," etc. 
Note the rhyme. 4 E. and A. have an interrogation mark. 
(f. stabfishe» etc. 6 Adulteress. 



 80 Roister Doister [^c-. v 

Thou didst helpe Hester, when she should bave died, 
Helpe also good Lorde, that mv truth mav be tried. 
Yet if Gawin Goodlucke with Tristram "rusty speake. 
I trust of yll report the force shall be but weake, 
And loe yond they come sadly talking togither, 
I wyll abyde, and not shrinke for their comming hither. 

15 
H iii b 

Actus. v. Scoena. iiii. 

GawYN GOODLUCKE. TRtSTRAM TRUSTIE. C. CUSTANCE. SYM SURESBYo 

Ga. Good. And was it none other than ye to me reporte? 
Tristram. No, and here were [yat] wished [ye] to bave seene the 
sporte. 1 
Ga. Good. ,Voulde I had, rather than halfe of that in my purse. 
Sire Sure. And I doe touche rejoyce the matter was no wurse, 
And like as to open it, I was to vou faithfull, 5 
So of dame Custance honest truth I am joyfull. 
For God forfende that I shoulde hurt hir bv false reporte. 
Ga. Good. ,Vell, I will no longer holde hir in discomforte. 
C. Custance. Nowe come they hitherwarde, I trust ail shall be well. 
Ga. Good. Sweete Custance neither heart can thinke nor tongue 
tell, 
Howe much I joy in your constant fidelitie, 
Corne nowe kisse me the 2 pearle of perfect honestie. 
C. Custance. God lette me no longer to continue in lyfe, 
Than I shall towardes you continue a true wyfe. 
Ga. Goodl. ,Vell now to make you for this some parte ofamendes 15 
I shall desire first you, and then suche of our frendes, 
As shall to you seeme best, to suppe at home with me 
,Vhere at your fought fielde we shall laugh and mery be. 
8ira Sure. And mistresse I beseech you, take with me no greefe, 
I did a true mans part, hOt wishyng you repreefe, a 2o 
C. Custance. Though hastie reportes through surmises growyng, 
May of poore innocentes be utter overthrowyng 
I E.  here were ye wished to haue.' 

e Nom.-vocative ; cf. V. ri, 37. 8 reproach. 



sc. ri Roister Doister I 8 I 

Yet bicause to thy maister thou hast a true hart, 
And I know mine owne truth, I forgive thee for mv part. 
Ga. Goodl. Go we ail to mv house, and of this geare no more. 2 5 
Goe prepare ail things Svm Suresby, hence, runne afore. H iv 
Sire Sure. I goe. Ex. 
G. Good. But who commeth yond, M. Mervgreeke ? 
C. Custance. Roister Doisters champion, I shrewe his best cheeke. 1 
T. Trusty. Roister Doister selle z your wower is with hvm too 
Surely some thing there is with us they have to doé. 3o 

Actus. v. Scoena. v. 8 

M. MERYGREEKE. RALPH ROISTER. GAWYN GOODLUCKEo 
TRISTRAM TRI.STII. C. C.STArC. 

t14. tl4ey. Yond I see Gawyn Goodlucke, to whome lyeth my 
message, 
I will first salure him after his long voyage, 
And then make ail thing well concerning your behalfe. 
R. Ro.wter. Yea for the pashe of God. 
AI. Mery. Hence out of sight ye calfe, 
Till I bave spoke with them, and then I will you fet [--] 5 
R. Royster. In Gods name. 
lI. Ierv. XVhat Master Gawin Goodluck wel met 
And from your long voyage I bid you right welcome home. 
Ga. Good. I thanke you. 
iii. IIIêry. I corne to you from an honest mome. 
Ga. Good. XVho is that ? 
AL llIoy. Roister Doister that doughtie kite. 
C. Custance. Fye, I can scarce abide ye shoulde his narne recite. IO 
AL IIIery. Ye must take him to favour, and pardon ail past, 
He heareth of your returne, and is full yll agast. 
Ga. Good. I am ryght well content he have with us some chere. 
C. Custance. Fye upon hym beast, then wyll hot I be there. 
1 Sec IV. il, '4- S Cf. last scene of Ter. Eunucbus. 
:  Cf. Koch's Hist. Grain. z : 3z4. 



8z Roister Doister [ACT. v 

Ga. G»od. Why Custance do ye hate hym more than ye love me 
C. Custance. But for your mynde 1 sir, where he were would I hot 
be[.] 2 
2". Trusty. He woulde make us al laugh. 
A/l. 214ery. Ye nere had better sport. 
Ga. Good. I pray you sweete Custance, let him to us resort. 
C. Custance. To your will Iassent. 
M. Mery. Why, suche a foole it 
As no man for good pastime would forgoe or misse. 
G. Goodl. Fet him to go wyth us. 
I. Jl/Iery. He will be a glad man. Ex. 
T. Trusty. ,Ve must to make us mirthî maintaine s hym ail 
we can. 
And loe yond he commeth and Merygreeke with him. 
C. Custance. At his first entrance ye shall see I wyll him trim. 
But first let us hearken the gentlemans wise talke. 2 5 
2". Trusty. I pray you marke if ever ye sawe crane so stalke. 

Actus. v. Scoena. vi. 

R. ROISTER. M. MERYCREEKE. Co CUSTANCE. G. GOODLVOE, 
T. TRUSTIE. D. DouGrl. HaRPAX. 

R. Royster. May I then be bolde ? 
M. Mery. I warrant you on mv worde, 
They say they shall be sicJe, but ye be at theyr borde. 
R. Royster. Thei wer not angry then[?] 
M. Mery. Yes at first, and made strange 
But when I sayd your anger to favour shoulde change, 
And therewith had commended vou accordingly, 
They were ail in love with your mashyp by and by. 
And cried you mercy that they had done you wrong. 
R. Royster. For why, no man, woman, nor childe can hate me long. 
I "Unless you desire it.'"  E. has interrogation mark. 
 Cf. Eunucb. V. viii, 49: Fatuu est, insulsus bardu. 
 Cf. lb. V. viii, 57; Hune comedtndum et dtridendum obis propino. 
$ E. » ' maintaiue.' 
 Cf. Eunucb. V. viii 6,: 'umuam etiam fui u,uam» uin me omne, amadn! plurimum 



sc. vq Roister Doister  8 3 

IV/. /14ery. We feare (quod they) he will be avenged one day, 
Then for a peny give all out lires we may. IO 
R. Royster. Sayd they so in deede[?] 
IV/./14ery. Did they ? yea, even with one voice 
He will forgive all (quod I) Oh how they did rejoyce. 
R. Royster. Ha, ha, ha. 13 
114. ll/Iery. Goe lette hvm (sa), the),) while he is in good moode, 
For have his anger who lust, we will hOt bv the Roode. 15 
R. Royster. I pra), God that it be ail true, that thou hast me tolde, 
And that she fight no more. 
M. Mery. I warrant ),ou, be bolde 
Too them, and salute them. [advanct toward Goodl., etc.] 
R. Roystêr. Sirs, I greete you ail well. 
Omnes. Your maistership is welcom. 
C. Custance. Savyng my quarell. 
For sure I will put you up into the Eschequer. 1 .o 
114. gl,Iery. Why so ? better nay: Vherfore ? 
C. Custance. For an usurerfl 
R. Royster. I ara no usurer good mistresse by his armes. 
I. lery. XVhen tooke he gaine of money to any mans harmes ? 
C. Custance. Yes, a fowle usurer he is, ye shall see els [--] Il 
R. Royster [aside to lli.] Didst hot thou promise she would picke 
no mo quarels ? 25 
C. Custance. He will lende no blowes, but he have in recompence 
Fiftene for one, z whiche is to muche of conscience. 
R. Rovster. Ah dame, by the auncient lawe of armes, a man 
Hath no honour to foile his handes on a woman. 
C. Gustance. And where other usurersa take their gaines yerely, 3o 
This man is angry but he have his by and by. 
Ga. GoodL Sir, doe hOt for hir sake beare me vour displeasure. 
1. l'ery. SVell, he shall with you talke thero'f more at leasure. 
Upon your good usage, he will now shake your hande. 
R. Royster. And much heartily welcome from a straunge lande. 35 
1 Cf. Pollock-Maitland, Hist. Engl. La, !,  71 : " The Exchequer is called a curia . . . 
it recelves and audits the accounts of the sheriffs and other collectors i if calls the King's 
debtors before it," etc. 
 Cf. Wright's Songs, 76. 
s Sec Introd., Date oftbe P/ay. 



184 Roister Doister [ACT. v. sc. vq 

PI. llIery. Be not afearde Gawyn to let him shake your fyst. 
Ga. GoodL Oh the moste honeste gentleman that ere I wist. 
I beseeche vour mashyp to take payne to suppe with us. 
I. Lrv. He shall hOt say you nay and I too, by Jesus. 
Bicause ve shall be friends, and let ail quarels passe. 40 
R. Rovster.  wyll be as good friends with them as ere I was. 
AI. Ary. Then let me fet your quiet that we may bave a song. 
R. Ro.stêr. Goe. 
G. Goodluck. I bave hearde no melodie all this veare long. 
AL A/ery [to the musicians zohom he bas called in]. Çome on sirs quickly. 
R. Roystêr. 
D. Dough. 
R. Royster. 

Sing on sirs, for my frends sake. 
Cal ye these your frends ? 45 
Sing on, and no mo words make. 
Here tbey sing. 1 
The Lord preserve out most noble Queene of renowne, 

Ga. Good. 
And hir virtues rewarde with the heavenly crowne. 
C. Custance. The Lorde strengthen hir most excellent Majestie, 
Long to teigne over us in ail prosperitie. 
T. Trusty. That hir godly proceedings the faith to defendeoe 5 ° 
He mav stablishe and maintaine through to the ende. 
I. ALry. God graunt hir as she doth, the Gospell to protect, a 
Learning and verrue to advaunce, and vice to correct.  
R. Rovst«r. God graunt hir Iovyng subjects both the minde and grace, 
ir most godly procedyngs worthilv to imbrace. Il $ 55 
Harpax. Hir highnesse most worthy counsellers  God prosper, 
*Vith honour and love of ail men to minister. 
Omnes. God graunt the nobilitie  sir to serve and love, 
Vith ail the whole commontie as doth them behove. 59 
AMEN. 
1 See Appendix G. 
" The title, ' Fidei Defemor," was given to Henry VIII. in 1521 ; the title, Defender o 
tbe Faitb, is round in the statures of Mary and Elizabeth i Defend¢r« of tbe Faitb in those of 
Philip and Mary. 
a Similarly in the Pra)'«r at the end of Camb),s«s. 
 Similarly in the Prayer at the end of Like ¢oill fo Like. 
 Similarly in the plays of acob and Esau, Diob. Cbild, Nego Custom, C.amb.Fs«s  Like 
oill fo Like. 
 Similarly in the Pa)'es of 2Vice lk'anton, Disob. C.bild, lppius Like oill fo la'le, Triall 
f r«,. [u t,]. 



Roister Doister  85 

Certaine Songs to be song by 
those which sha/l use this Comedie or Enterlude 

THE SECONDE SONG t 

SVho so to marry a minion SVyfe, 
Hath hadde good chaunce and happe, 
Must love hir and cherishe hir ail his life, 
And dandle hir in his lappe. 

If she will fare well, yf she wyll go gay, 
A good husbande ever styll, 
XWhat ever she lust to doe, or to say, 
Must lette hir have hir owne will. 

About what affaires so ever he goe, 
He must shewe hir ail his mynde, 
None of hys counsell she may be kept fr[o]e,  
Else is he a man unkynde. 

4 

8 

I2 

1 SeeI. iv, *s.. 

THE FOUKTH SONG. I 

I mun be maried a Sunday 
I mun be maried a Sunday, 
Who soever shall corne that way, 
I mun be maried a Sunday. 

Royster Dovster is mv naine, 
Royster Doyster is mv naine, 
A lustie brute 4 I ara the saine, 
I mun be maried a Sunday. 

Christian Custance have I founde, 
Christian Custance bave I founde, 
A XVydowe worthe a thousande pounde, 
I mun be maried a sunday. 
2 A. (and E. ?) : ' free.' 8 To be inserted I I I. iii» 

[1 iii 
4 

8 



 86 Roister Doister 

Custance is as sweete as honey 
Custance is as sweete as honey, 
I hir lambe and she my coney, 
I mun be maried a Sunday. 

When we shall make our weddyng feast, 
When we shall make our weddyng feast, 
There shall bee cheere for man and beast, 
I mun be maried a Sunday. 
I mun be maried a Sunday, etc. 

16 

20 

The Psalmodie.' 
Placebo dilexi, 
Maister Roister Dolster wil streight go home and die, 
Our Lorde Jesus Christ his soule have mercie upon. 
Thus you see to day a man, to morow 2 John3 
Yet saving for a womans extreeme crueltie, 
He might have lyved yet a moneth or two or three, 
But in spite of Custance which hath him weried, I i. 
His mashyp shall be worshipfully buried. 
And while some piece of his soule is yet hym within, 
Some parte of his funeralls let us here beginne. Io 
Dirigt. He will go darklyng to his grave. 
Neque lux, neque crux, nisl solum clinke, 
Never gentman so went toward heaven I thinke. 6 
Yet sirs as ye wyll the blisse of heaven win, 
When he commeth to the grave lay hym softly in, 1 
And ail men take heede by this one Gentleman, 
How you sette your love upon an unkinde woman : 
For these women be ail suche madde pievish elves, 
They wyll not be woonne except it please them selves. 
But in faith Custance if ever ye come in hell, 2o 
Maister Roister Doister shall serve you as well. 
Cf. III. iii, 

 H. changes to * none. ° 
 Cf. the light ¢lifferences III. iii» 59" 

$ EnÙrtly new line. 



Roister Doister  8 7 

Good night Roger old knave, Farewel Roger olde knave. 
Good night Roger olde knave, knave, knap. 
Nequando. ludiui vocem. Requiem eternam. 

The Peale' of belles rongby the parish Clerk, 
and Roister Doisters foure men 

THE FIRST 8ELL A TRIPLE.  
When dyed he ? Vhen dyed he ? 

THE SECONDE 
We have hym, We have hym. 

THE THIRDE 
Royster Doyster, Royster Doyster. 

THE FOURTH BELL 
He commeth He commeth. 

THE GREATE BELL 
Out owne, Out owne. 
I Cf. on « Voices" of Bells, Brand Popo ,//rit. , : ,14., ,1. 
 Cotgr.  a Triple ; alto Gaillard-drue in Music. 

FINIS. 



APPENDIX 

A. The Metre of Roister Doister.- Udall's verse is a long line of 
9, o, , z (and rarcly more) syllablcs; a verse which rcprcscnts thc 
Middlc English Long Line (or thc Middlc English 8eptenarius, as it bas 
bccn calicd for lack of a botter namc), as wc find it, for instance, in Robert 
of G/oucester, somc Legcnds, and Robert of Brunne. 
This Middlc English long line, of cithcr six or scvcn strcsscs or accents, is 
round in Skelton's blagnyfycence, and other carly Plays. 
In Roistcr Doistcr, on thc wholc, thc lines of six accents sccm to prcvail, lines 
corrcsponding to thc Middlc English Alcxandrinc, or in Udall's case pcrhaps 
rather to the classical JenariuJ, to the trimeter of thc Roman comcdy as undcr- 
stood by Udall. But a great numbcr of septenarK occur at the side of thcsc 
senarii, distributed all over thc play, and in thc specchcs of diffcrcnt pcrsons. 
In many cases it secms even doubtful whether a verse should be rcgardcd 
as a Jenarius or a seplenarius. 
SpecimenJ of tbe Senarius :  
Truepen I le get I thee in II thou shalt I among I them knowc 
I will I speake out I aloude [I I care I hot who I heare it. 
Specimens of tbe Septenarius (thc syilabic belote thc coesura or thc end of 
thc line with a slightcr, sccondary accent, produccs this septenarius in most 
cases) -"  
1 go  I now Tri'st I tam Trust I y Il I thdnk I yo& I right m&ch ] 
And me t I that in t I case I t [[ shou|d needct I to corne  I to arm t I ing.  
Senarii or Septenarii : q 
Y'ct a fittter wiffe for yo&r II matship might be foutnde. 
or : Y'et a fittter wife for youtr Il maJship miJght bc foufndc. 
Such a goodqy mdn as you t Il mitght gct ontc with ldnde. 
or : Such  a goodqy rnan as yout Il might get one with la ndt. 
B. The Figure of the Mlles Gloriosus in English Literature.  
Thc limits of this cdition forbid any dctailcd account of thc pedigrcc of thc 
type of the Mile Gloriom in English Literature, but for the benefit of the 
student, I wish to give the following references :  
On the Mtle Gloriou of the Ancients, cf. the classical accotant in 
Otto Ribbeck's///azn, Ein Beitrag zur /lntiken Etbdogie und zur Kennt. 



 9 ° Ippendix 

niss der GriecbiJcb-Rgmiscben Traggdie, Leipzig, 88z. Cf. further the 
masterly sketches in the History of Roman Literatur.e. (Leipzig, , 887 ; *, 66 ; 
83) by the same author; the shorter account, "' Uber die Figuren des Miles 
Gloriosus und seines Parasiten bei Mteren und neueren Dicbtern," by A. O. F. 
Lorenz (as an appendix to the same scholar's edition of Plautus, Mil. Glor., 
Berlin, *886; pp. z3o seq. ). The fullest collection of material for a gen- 
eral history of this classical type in modern literature is contained in Karl 
von Reinhardstoetmer, Plautus, Sphtere Bearbeitungen Plautiniscber Lustspiele, 
Leipzig, ,886 (pp. ,3o seq., 595-680). 
On the blil. Glor. in English Literature, cf. the excellent dissertation 
by Herman Graf, Der Mil. Glor. ira Engliscben Drama bis zut Zeit des 
Birgerkrieges Rostock, s. a. [,89! ; cf. Koch's note in Engliscbe Studien, 
*8, 
On the Shakespearian " quadrifoil," Falstaff, Parolles, Armado, Pistol, 
cf. the charming causerie by Julius Thfimmel : Der MiL Glor. bei $bake- 
speare [published first in the $bakespeare Ïabrbucb of *878, and, later, in 
the saine author's $bakespeare Cbaraktere, Halle, *887, Vol. I. pp. 
z76]. 
C. Titiville (I. i, 2x). -- ' Tuteville' was originally the name of a devil 
in the French Mystery Plays (cf. Mone, Scbauspiele des Mittelalters, z, z7)*; 
from the French Mystery play the name was introduced into the Mys- 
teries of Germany, England, * and Holland. His diabolical occupation is 
thus defined in the M)'roure of oure Ladye (, ch. zo; cf. Blunt's note, 
34z; as well as Skeat's to Pierce Plowm., C. xiv, ,z3): "'I am a poure 
dyuel and my naine is Tytyuyllus . . . I rnuste eche day . . . brynge 
my toaster a thousande pokes [bags] full of faylynges, & of neglygences in 
syllables and wordes that are done in youre order in redynge and in s),ng),nge, 
& else I must be sore beten." 
This • function ' of the Devil seems to allow a connection 8 with the Latin 

Cf. ib., the collection of French names of the Devil i and similar collections in Gosche's 
abrbucb» I. i Osborn, Teufelslitteratur, 6. The English Devil is still waiting for lais 
Historian ! 
Cf. Tooneley 2Iyst. (uditium, p. 310, etc.): Tutivillus (to the Pfimus Doemon):  
I was youre cheoe tollare 
And sltten courte rollar 
Now ara I malter Lollar &c. 
Gower, too, knows T]t]vllu$; l'ox Clamantis, 3:  
Hic est confessor Domini» sed nec Domlnarum, 
y,i magis est blandus uam Titiillus eis. 
There could hot be a ¢onnection with : Titimallus Titan (Job. deJanua). 



.l]endix  9  

titivillitium, t «'a vile thyng of no value " (Cooper), something very small 
and trifling, like the "' faylynges and neglygences in syllables " in praving 
and reading of the church offices. 
In Udall's rime the ancient Devil had degenerated, and Iris name had be- 
corne a byword for a low, miserable tClow; cf. the play of 7"hersites 
(Dodsley, , 4z4) : -- 
Tinkers and taborers» tipplers» taverners 
Titfifills triflers turners and trumpers I 
and Heywood's Praver,  ch. o (40):- 
There is no moe such titifyls in Englandes groundllTo hold with the hare and run with the hound. 
D. NIumblecrust and the NIaids (I. iii.).- . Mumhlecrust. Cooper 
quotes the sarne name from Dekker's Satiromastix, and a Madge Mumble- 
crust from Misogonus (577). Jack M. is the name of a beggar in Patient 
Grissel, IV. iii (cf. Cooper). Different compounds are Mumble-news 
(Shakesp. L.L.L.V. ii, 464) and Sir John Mumble-matins (Pilkington, 
Exposition upon /lggeus,  , z). 
z. 7nihet. Tib (= Isabella) was the typical servant's name ; cf. G.G.N.; 
Tib and Tom in /li1' l/l'ell, II. ii, z 4 ; "every coistrel inquiring for his 
Tib," Pericles, IV. vi, 76, etc. 
3- In/llyface: the first part indicates the colour of ber nose and the desire 
of her heart. 
The whole dialogue of these women takes us back to the times when it 
was no dishonour to women to go '" to the ale " and enjoy themselves there 
with their gossips ; cf. P. PL, C. 7, 36z ; Chester PL, , 53, etc. 
E. The Mock Requiem (III. iii, 53) is one of the latest instances of 
parodies of church services such as are found everywhere in the literature 
of the Middle Ages. One of the oldest of such parodies is the Drunkard's 
Mas, Misa Gul, e, printed in Halliwell and Wright's Reliqui,e /lntiqu,e, z, 
zo8 (cf. the Paternaster Gali, e); the O_fficiurn Luarum (printed in Carrnina 
Burana, z48); the Sequentia fa/si er:angelii sec. Marcam ( lnitium S. Evan- 
getiiec, marcas argenti) in Du Meril, PoC. Pap. Lat./lnt. XII. s. p. 4o7, etc. 
In English Lit. we find similar parodies in the Requiem to the Far:ourite 
of Henry Pl. (Ritson's Sangs, o ; Furnivall's Polit. Rel. and Lar:e Songe, 6: 
For Jake Napes Sowle, Placebo, and Dirige); in Pasages of the Court of 
Lave (Chalmers, Engl. Paets, , 377), in the Placeha Dilexi in Skelton's 
1 Freund's Dict. quotes it from Plautus, Casin z, 5 39 : IVon ego istud erbum ernpsitem 
titimillitia. The learned Ben Jonson knew the word (Bilent ornan 4", 1);  
Wife! buz ? titivilitium 
There's no such thing in nature ! 



19  /lppendix 

Pbyllyp 8parowe (perhaps the source for Udall's happy thought); in Dunbar's 
IFill of 3t'aister /lndr. Kennedy, etc. 
The parallels to Udall's parody are to be round in Maskell's Monumenta 
Ritualia, 1 in the Manuale et Processionale ad usure insignis Eccle. Eboracen- 
sis, 2 or in the Rituale Romanum. a 
The references are, for-- 
I. The Placebo Dilexi (Ps. 114), Man. Ebor. 60 ; Sarum 57*- 
z. The Antiphona Ne fuando (rapiat ut leo animam meam, etc., Ps. 7], 
Ebor. 67. 68; Sarum 69* ; Rit. Rom. 166. 167. 
3. The Anfiphona Dirige [Domine Deus meus in conspectu tuo viam 
meam], Ebor. 65 ; Sarum 6z*; Rit. Rom. 66, etc. 
4. 1 porta inferi [ Erue Domine animas eorum], Sarum  8*; Rit. Rom.  68. 
5. Refuiem a'ternam [dana eis Domine, et lux perpetua luceat cisl, Ebor. 
64 ; Sarum 59*- 
6. The "Epistola' /ludivi rotera [Lectio Libri /lpoc. 'ob. 4, 13], 
Sarum 76* ; Rit. Rom. 158. 
7- The Respomorium : Qui Lazarum [resuscitasti a raonumento fwtidum], 
Ebor. 69; R. Rom. 169 . 
8. The /lntipbona: In Paradisum [deducant te /lngeh], Rit. Rom. 
! 0, etc. 
It is needless to say that Merygreeke does not adhere stricdy to the ordet 
of the Ritual, but produces a humorous jumble. 
The words neçue lux neçue «rux are not in the Ritual, but refer to the ' order 
about the wax taper ,4 and the crucifix in the extreme unction, etc. See 
Maskell, I. ccxcviii. ; the "clinke'  refers to the sounding of the passing 
bell (supposed to drive away evil spirits) 6. Latimer remarks about such 
I Inbumatio defuncti» l, 42 ; cf. also his «disseafion" on the order of the Burial, lb. 
CCXCIII. 
2 Ed. $urtees 8oc. 875, P- 6o; cf. ib., Commendatio/inimarum 56*; De Modo Dicendi 
Exsecuias defunctorum ad usure arum 8o*. 
8 Chapter De ExeoEuiis i O.fficium Defunctorum. 
4 Cf. ib., cerei qui cure cruce et tburibulo de more . . . portabanur accensi ; unto the 
holy candle commit we out souls at out last deparfing, Tindale, 14"orks, , zz 5 ; lb. 48 ; 
], 4.o, etc. i on the wax candle and driving the Devil away, cf. Lafimer, ermon, g7 (4.99)- 
The retbrmers were as much against the candles as against the bells, and other « popish supersfi- 
fions'; cf. Grindal's I/isitationBook (* 55,-5z),  4.0, 4.6, etc. 
 Cf'. Brand's Pop. Cnt. z, zzo. 
6 Cf. Durandus Rationale, Lib. I. fol. 9 (De Campanis) : " Uerum aliquo moriente campanœe 
debent pulsari ut populus hoc audiens oret pro illo ; pro muliere quidem bis . . . pro viro veto 
ter pulsatur" etc. The superstitious background was that the bells were believed to drive away 
evil spirits. Cf. ib., " campanoe pulsantur ut demones fimentes fugiant . . . hoec efiam est 
causa quare ecclesia videns concitari tempestates campanas pulsat ut demones tubas eterni regis 
id est campanas audientes territi fugiant et a tempestafis concitafione quiescant et ut campanoe pub 
sationes fideles admoneant et prouocent pro instanfi periculo orafioni inftere»'" and Brand's Pot. 
Cnt. gE, ŒEoz. 



ppendix  9  

' fooleries ' : "' The devil should have no abiding place in England if ringing 
of bells would serve" (Serra., z7, 498), and the English reformers were, on 
the whole, of l.,atimer's opinion ; * but there were more tolerant men who 
ultimately prevailed, and so in course of time one short peal before the 
funeral was allowed, and one after it, 2 and even a threefold peal was per- 
mitted by Whitgift. 8 
On the history of the Funeral Bell, valuable material is contained in the 
Parker Soc. " lndex,' s.r. Bells (cf. ib. sub. ' Candles' ). 
III. iii, 8x, 83 : ' Pray for,' etc. If this passage were in a serious con- 
text, interesfing deductions could be drawn from it as to Udall's religious 
views, and perhaps as to the date of the play. Prayers for the dead were 
entirely against the spirit and doctrines of the early Reformers. But here 
also less radical views were held, and so we find the Prayer enjoined by 
Cranmer, ç34 (IF0rks, z, 46o), by Edward VI. (Injunctions, 47, lb. 
504). To mock the prayer would probably bave been unsafe between  47 
and 16, when Udall died. Edward's Common Prayer Book of ç49 re- 
tains the prayer for the dead (p. 88, 4-ç), but the edifion of  çSz is filent 
about it (ib. z7z, 319). In Elizabetb's Primer of 59 this Prayer is re- 
introduced (cf. Priv. Prayers, 9, 67); but later Protestants again condemn 
it, e.g. Whitgift (*74), 3, 364 • 
F. R0ister as 'vagrant.' IV. iii, xo4.--Of ail the statutes against 
vagrants, that of  Edward VI. (c. 3 ), * 5¢7, affords the best parallel to 
Custance's resolute and humorous words. This law determines that "who- 
soever . . . being hOt lame shall either like a seruing-man wanting a master, 
or like a beggar or after any such other sort be luridng in any house or houses, 
or loitering, or idle wandering by the high wayes side, or in streets, cities, 
townes, or villages . . . then euery such person shall bee taken for a vaga- 
bond, . . . and it shalbe lawfull . . . to any . . . person espying the 
same, to bring or cause to be brought the said person so liuing idle and loiter- 
ingl.v, to two of the next justices of the peace," etc. 
6. The prayer and ' song' at the end of the play. V. vi, 47.  I ara 
inclined to think that the song which 'they ring' according to the stage 
direction, is hot given, * and that verses ¢7-59 are spoken, and represent the 
' prayer' which the actors would ail say kneeling (cC Nares's G/ossary, s.r. 
'kneel'). That the • Queene' referred to is Elizabeth, and hot Mary, 
becomes clear from the words " God graunt hir as she doth, tbe Gospe//to 

1 belh . . . with such other vanities, Tindale, 3, z58 ; ape's play, ib. z83 etc. 
 Grindal, l'orks, ! 36. 
• 3, 36z ; Injunctions at York, IS71, g ; Articles at Canterbury, i76, 9- 
 Collier» tlist. ram. Po«try, z, 59, thinks the whole epiiogue is ' sung." 
o 



194 .lppen dix 

protect. This proves, too, that these words are not by Udall, but by 
unknown hand that prepared the p'ay for the press under Elizabeth. 
H. Works quoted in the notes. 
AsBrs. The editions of Roister Doister in Arber's English Reprints 
,. of July *, 869. 
e. ofjuly z, ,869. 
N.B. The only difference which I have found between che two reprints is 
che absence of one line [III. iv, 66] on p. 5  in the ed. ofJuly z 4 ; the line 
is contained in ed. of July , 869. 
C^rarEr« Proverbs in ' Remaines concerning Britaine." London, 6z 3. 
Cool'ES. Ralph Roister Doister, a comedy, ed. by W. D. Cooper, London. 
Printed for the Shakespeare Society, 
Co-rGs^v. A French and English Dictionary, ed. 6ço (with che addition 
of Dictionaire Anglais & François, by Robert Sherwood. Dst ed. 
,6,,.] 
DODSLEY, S. HAZLITT. 
Ft.OGt.. Neuenglisches Lesebuch von Ewald Fliigel, Vol. I. "Die Zeit 
Heinrich's VIII." Halle, 
HAt.tawt.t.. A Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words, by J. 0. Halli- 
well. London, 847. 
H^ztar'r. Edition of Roister Doister in '" A Select Collection of Old 
English Plays," originally published by Robert Dodsley, 7e¢4 . 
Fourth ed. by W. Carew Hazlitt. London, 874 (Vol. 3)- 
HErwoor. The Proverbs of John Heywood [first published in 
and reprinted from ed.  598 by Julian Sharman]. London, 874. 
Epigrams [reprinted from ed. 56z]. Printed for the Spenser Society, 
 867. 
P^t.s¢s^v. Lesclarcissement de la Langue Francoyse compose par Mastre 
Jehan Palsgraue,  ç3o. Pub. par F. Génin. Paris,  85 z. 
R^r. A Compleat Collection of English Proverbs, by J. Ray. Third ed. 
London,  7.z. 



l¢illiam Steve»son 

GAMMER GURTONS 
NEDLE 

Edited zoitb Critical Essa. 
and Note by Henry rad- 
I¢., Hon. M..4., Oxford 



CRITICAL ESSAY 

Date 0t the Play and its Auth0rship. --The title-page of the earliest 
known edition of Gammer Gurtons Ned/e, printed by Thomas Col- 
well in 1575, states that this "right pithy, pleasaunt, and tuerie 
comedie" was "played on stage, hot longe ago, in Christes Colledge 
in Cambridge," and that it was " ruade by Mr. S., Mr. of Art." 
There is here no intimation that any former edition had appeared. 
But the register of the Company of Stationers shows that in the 
year ending 22 July, 1563, Colwell paid 4d. for licence to print a 
play entitled Dvccon of Bedlam, etc. ; and as " Diccon the Bedlam '" 
is a most important character in Gammer Gurtons Nedle (his naine, 
by good right, standing first in the list of dramatis personw), there 
is a fair presumption that the piece for which Clwell obtained a 
licence in I562- 3 was in substance identical with that which he 
actually printed in 575 under another title. 1 XVhether Dyccon was 
really published in or soon after  563, or whether Colwell for some 
reason or other allowed twelve years to elapse before carrying out 
his intention of publishing the play, cannot now be determined with 
certainty; the balance of probability seems, however, to be in 
favour of the latter supposition3 
The identity of " Mr. S., Master of Art," to whom the author- 
ship of the comedy is ascribed on the title-page, appears to be dis- 
coverable by means of certain evidence contained in the bursar's 
books of Christ's College, for the knowledge of which the present 
editor is indebted to the kindness of the Master of that college, 
1 The alternative possibility is that Gammer Gurton was a sequel to Dyccon. In that case 
the two plays would most probably be by the saine author, so that the value of the argument 
in the next paragraph would hardly be affected. 
2 Partly because the title-page of * 575 contains no indication that the play had been printed 
before, and part|y because {as wil| be shown there is some evidence that the publication was 
dehyed after the ride had been changed. It would be interesting to know whether a second 
licence was obtained for prinfing the play under its later naine i but there happera to be a gap in 
the detailed accounts of the Stationers Company extending from  57  to  576. 



 98 loei]Eam çtevenson 

Dr. Peile. If we are right in identifying Gammer Gurtons Nedk 
with the play which was licenced to the printer in the year ending 
22 July, 1563, the performance at Christ's College must bave taken 
place before that date, for it was not the custom to send a play to 
the press before it had been acted. Now, in the academic *,ear 
ending Michaelmas, 1563, there is no record of any dramatic repre- 
sentation having been given in the college. In the preceding year, 
1561--62 , the accounts mention certain sums "spent at Mr. Chath- 
erton's playe." The person referred to is ,Villiam Chaderton, then 
Fellow of Christ's; but, as his naine does hot begin with S, this 
entry does hOt concern out inquiry. In 156o-6t there is no 
mention of any play; but in 1559-6o we find the two following 
items : -- 
"To the viales at Mr. Chatherton's plaie, zs. 6d." 
'" Spent at Mr. Stevenson's plaie, 5s-" 

As no evidence to the contrary has been found, it appears highly 
probable that the "Mr. S." of Gammer Gurtons Nedle was Villiam 
Stevenson, Fellow of Christ's College from 1559 to 1561. It is 
further probable that he is identical with the person of the same 
name who was Fellow of the college from 1551 tO 1554,1 and who 
appears in the bursar's accounts as the author of a play acted in the 
year 1553-54. It may be presumed that he was deprived of his 
fellowship under Queen Mary, and was reinstated under Elizabeth. 
Whether Stevenson's play of 1559-6o was the same which had 
been given six years before, or whether it was a new one, there is 
no evidence to show. The former supposition, however, derives 
some plausibility from the fact that, as several critics have pointed 
out, the allusions to church matters in Gammer Gurtons Nedle seem 
to indicate a pre-Elizabethan date for its composition3 At all 
events it seems likely that the play of 1553-54 was in English, for 
I If the Stevenson of 559-6 was not identical with his namesake, some record of Iris 
graduations and macuhtion ought to exist. But Dr. Pelle, who has taken the trouble to 
search through the univerfity registers for several years prior to *559, informs me that no such 
record can be round. 
* The reference to the kiag, moreover, in Act V. il, z36 would strengthen the probability 
that the play of '575 (and ,559-6o) was originally composed during Stevenson's first fellow- 
ship ; at any rate before the death of Edward VI. It might therefore be idenfical with the phy 
acted in ! .ç .ç 3"-" I Gen. 



l[Ti//iam çtevenson  99 

the accounts speak of a Latin play (managed by another Fellow. 
named Persevall) as having been performed in the saine year. 
Of Stevenson's history nothing is known, beyond the bare facts 
that he was born at Hunwick in Durham, matriculated as a sizar 
in November, 546, became B.A. in 549-5 o, M.A. in 553, and 
B.D. in 156o. He was ordained deacon in London in x552, ap- 
pointed prebendary of Durham in January, 156o-6 , and died in 
1575, the year in which Gammer Gurton was printed. 
It may at first sight appear to be a formidable objection to 
Stevenson's authorship of the play, that the title-page of the edition 
of 1575 speaks of the representation at Cambridge as having taken 
place "hot longe ago." But Colwell had had the MS. in his pos- 
session ever since x 563 ; and there is nothing unlikely in the suppo- 
sition that the wording of the original title-page was retained without 
any other alteration than the change in the naine of the piece. 
The title-page, it may be remarked, is undated, the tablet at the foot, 
which is apparently intended to receive the date, being left blank. 
This fact may possibly indicate that when the printing of the vol- 
ume was begun it was anticipated that its publication might have to 
be delayed for some time. 1 The appearance of the title-page suggests 
the possibility that it may bave been altered after being set up: 
" Gammer gur-Irons IVedle" in small italic may bave been substi- 
tuted for Dicc0n of I Becllam in type as large as that of the other 
words in the saine lines. In Colwell's edition of Ingelend's Diso- 
bedient Child (printed 156o ) the title-page bas the same woodcut 
border, but the naine of the piece is in type of the same size as that 
of the preceding and following words. As this woodcut does not 
occur in any other of Colwdl's publications now extant, it seems 
reasonable to infer that Gammer Gurton was printed long before  575- 
Former Attributions of Auth0rship.- It is necessarv to say some- 
thing about the two persons to whom the authorship of Gammer 
Gurtons IVedle has hitherto been attributed -- Dr. John Bridges, who 
was in succession Dean of Salisbury and Bishop of Oxford, and 
Dr. John Still, who was made Bishop of Bath and l, Vells in 593. 

1 Too much importance must hOt, however, be attached to this, as the saine thing is round 
in the title-page of T& Disobedient Cbild, above referred to. The date of i.ç7.ç for our comedy 
h given in the colophon at the end of the book. Sec also p. o6 ,. 



200 ll/'illiam Stevenson 

It is curious tbat botb tbe distinguisbed cburcbmen wbo bave beea 
credited with the composition of this very unclerical play received 
the degree of D.D. in the saine year in which it was published. 
The evidence on which it has been attempted to assign the play 
to John Bridges is contained in certain passages of the " Martin 
Marprelate" tracts. In the first of these, the EDistle , published in 
1588, the author addresses Bridges in the following terres:- 
"You have bin a worthy writer, as they say, of a long time ; your first 
book was a proper enterlude, called Garnrnar Gtrtas Nee]e. But I think 
that this trifle, which sheweth the author to have had sorne witte and inven- 
tion in him, was none of your doing, because your books seeme to proceede 
from the braynes of a woodcocke, as having nŒEithŒEr wit nor learning." 
In bis second pamphlet, tbe Epitome, " Martin Marprelate" twice 
alludes to the dean's supposed authorship of the play, in a manner 
which conveys the impression that he really believed in it. None 
of ,t lartin's" adversaries seem to bave contradicted his statement 
on this point, though Cooper in particular was at great pains to 
refute the pamphleteer's "slanders'" on other dignitaries. It must 
be admitted that everything that is known of Bridges is decidedly 
favourable to the supposition that he might have written comedy in 
his vouth. His voluminous Defence of the Gevernment of the Church 
of Énglancl abounds in sprightly quips, often far from dignified in 
tone; and his controversial opponents complained, with some jus- 
tice, of his "buffoonery." He is recorded bv Harrington to have 
been a prolific writer of verse; and that his interests were not 
exclusivelv theo]ogical appears from the fact that he is said to bave 
translated, in 1558 , three of Machiavelli's Dcaurses, having pre- 
viously resided in Italv. The only reason for rejecting " Martin 
Marprelate's" attribution of Gammer Gurtons Aédle to him is that 
he was hOt " Mr. S.," and that he belonged hOt to Christ's College, 
but to Pembroke. But as he was resident at Cambridge in 1560 
(having taken the degree of A.M. in that year), it is quite possible 
that he may have assisted XVilliam Stevenson in the composition or 
revision of the play. 
The name of Bishop Still is so familiar as that of the reputed 
author of Gammer Gurton, that many readers will be surprised to 



ll/i]]iam çtevensan 2o  

learn that this attribution was first proposed in 1782 by Isaac Reed 
in his enlarged edition of Baker's Biograpbia Dramatica. 1 Reed 
discovered in the accounts of Christ's College an entrv referring 
to a play acted at Christmas, I567 (hOt z566 , as he states); and as 
this is the latest entry of the kind occurring belote z575, he plausi- 
bly inferred that it related to the representation of Gammer Gurtons 
N«dl«, which in Colwell's title-page was stated to bave taken place 
«not long ago." The only Master of Arts of the college then 
living, whose surname began with S, that he was able to find, 
was John Still, whom he therefore confidentlv identified with the 
«Mr. S." who is said to bave written Gamn«r Gurton. If our 
arguments in favour of Stevenson's authorship be accepted, Reed's 
conclusion of course falls to the ground; and the character of 
Bishop Still, as it is known from the testimonv of several of his 
personal friends, renders it incredible that he can ever bave dis- 
tinguished himself as a comic writer. The characteristic quality 
by which he seems chiefly to bave impressed his contemporaries 
was his extraordinary seriousness. Archbishop Parker, in 1573, 
speaks of him as Ca young man," but " better mortified than some 
other forty or fifty years of age"; and another eulogist commends 
«his staidness and gravity." If Still's seriousness had been, like 
that of many grave and dignified persons, in any eminent degree 
qualified by wit, there would surely have been some indication of 
the fact in the vivaciously written account of him given by Har- 
rington. But neither there nor elsewhere is there any evidence 
that he ever ruade a joke, that he ever wrote a line of verse, or 
that he had any interests other than those connected with his sacred 
calling. A fact which has often been remarked upon as strange by 
those who bave accepted the current theory of Still's authorship 
of Gammer Gurton is that in 592, when he was vice-chancellor 
of Cambridge, his signature, followed bv those of other heads of 
bouses, was appended to a memorial prkving that the queen would 
allow a Latin play to be substituted for the English play which she 
had commanded to be represented bv the university actors on the 
occasion of her approaching visit. The memorialists urged that 
I This tifle was given by Reedl Baker's original work of 1762 was called '/ Dictionarj 



o 11i]]iam çtevensan 

the performance of English plays had not been customary in the 
university, being thought "nothing beseminge our students." It is 
not necessary to attribute much importance to this incident, but, so 
far as it has any bearing on the question at ail, it goes to support 
the conclusion, already certain on other grounds, that the author 
of Gammer Gurtons ,Vedle cannot have been John Still.  
Place in the Rist0ry of C0my.-- In attempting to assign the place 
of Gammer Gurtons ,Vedle in the history of the English drama, we 
should remember that it is the sole surviving example of the ver- 
nacular college comedies--probably more numerous than is com- 
monly suspected--produced during the sixteenth century, and that 
most of the features which appear to us novel were doubtless the 
result of a gradual development. So far as our knowledge goes, 
however, it is the second English comedy conforming to the struct- 
ural type which modern Europe has learned from the example of the 
Roman playwrights. The choice of the old "septenary " measure, 
in which most of the dialogue is written, may have been due to 
recollection of the Terentian iambic tetrameter catalectic, just as the 
rugged Alexandrines of Ralph Roister Doister were probably suggested 
by the Latin comic senarius. But while in Udall's play the marrer 
as well as the form is largely of classical origin, the plot and the 
characters of Gammer Gurtons Aedle are purely native. Its material 
is drawn at first hand from observation of English lire; its literary 
ancestry, so far as it has any, is mainly to be traced through John 
Heywood's interludes to the farces of the fifteenth-century mysteries, 
of which one brilliant example is preserved in the 8ecunda Pastorum 
of the Towneley cycle. 
The artistic merit of the piece bas often been undulv depreciated, 
from causes which it is hot diflcult to understand. "lhe very rudi- 
mentary kind of humour which turns on physical]y disgusting sug- 
gestions is no longer amusing to educated people, and there is so 
much of this poor stuff in the play that the real wit of some scenes, 
and the clever portraiture of character throughout, have not received 
their fait share of acknowledgment. Most people who have lived 

I The arguments against Still's authorship of Gammer Gurton, and in favour of that of Bridges, 
are stated at length in an article by Mr. C. H. Ross in the nineteenth volume of .dnglia ( ,896 ): 
tu which we are indebted for several usefl referencoE 



I[/illiarn Stevenson 2o 3 

long in an English village will recognise Gammer Gurton and Dame 
Chat as capital studies from lire, though their modern representa- 
tives are hOt quite so foul-mouthed in their wrath as the gossips of 
the sixteenth century ; and Hodge, whose naine bas become the 
conventional designation of the English farm labourer is an equally 
lifelike figure. The brightly drawn character of Diccon represents 
a type which the working of the poor laws, and many social changes, 
bave banished from out villages. But old people who were living; 
down to the middle of this century had many stories to tell of the 
crazy wanderer, who was recognised as too feather-brained to be 
set to any useful work, but who was a welcome guest in cottage 
bornes, and whose pranks were looked on with kindly toleration by 
well-disposed people, even when they led to inconvenient conse- 
quences.  The gaine of cross-purposes brought about by Diccon's 
machinations, which forms the plot, is humorously imagined, and 
worked out with some skill. It does not, of course, fise above the 
level of farce; but there is real comedy, not quite of the lowest 
order, in the scene where the fussy self-importance of Dr. Rat, burst- 
ing with impotent rage at his well-merited discomfiture, is confronted 
with the calm impartiality of « Master Baily "-- the steward of the 
lord of the manor, apparently, and the representative of temporal 
authority in the village. The common verdict that Garnrner Gur- 
tons Aredle is a work of lower rank than Ralpb Rokter Doister is 
perhaps on the whole hot unjust ; but the later play bas some merits 
of its own, and, as the first known attempt to prescrit a picture of 
contemporary rustic lire in the form of a regular comedy, it may be 
admitted to represent a distinct advance in the development of 
English dramatic art. 
Dialect.--The treatment of dialect in the play demands a word 
of notice. Ail the characters, except the curate and the baily, who 
belong to the educated class, and Diccon, who may be presumed to 
bave corne down from a better social station than that of the village 
people use a kind of speech which is clearly intended to represent the 
dialect of the southwestern counties. It is hOt always very correct ; 

 Of course it is hOt meant tbat these persons corresponded exactly to the type represented by 
Diccon--the ex-patient of Bethlehem Hospital discharged as being supposed to be cured or 
rendered harmless, and wearing a badge indicating the possession of a licence to beg. 



zo 4 lI/'i]]iam Stevenson 

the writer, for instance, seems to have thought that cham stood for 
"am" as well as " I am," so that he makes Hodge say "cham I 
hot." Stevenson, as we have seen, was of northern birth; and, as 
a line or two in the saine dialect is round in Ralph Roister Doister, 
there is some reason for believing that the dialect of the stage rustic 
was already a matter of established convention.  The word pes, a 
hassock, which occurs in the play, is peculiar, so far as is known, to 
the East Anglian dialect, and may have been picked up by the author 
in his walks about Cambridge. ,Vhether derived from Gammer 
Gurton or from plays of earlier date, the conventional dialect of 
the stage rustic kept its place throughout the Elizabethan period. 
Shakspere's rustics, as is well known, mostlv use the southwestern 
forms, hOt those current in the poet's native" ,Varwickshire. 
The Present Tex't. -- The text of the present edition is taken from 
the copy of Colwell's edition ( 575) in the Bodleian Library. The 
original spelling has been preserved, except thatj and v are substi- 
tuted for i and u when used as consonants, and u for v when used 
as a vowel. Obvious misprints have been corrected, but are men- 
tioned in the foomotes (except in the case of mere errors of word- 
division, which it seemed unnecessary to notice). The punctuation 
and the use of initial capitals, have been conformed to modern prac- 
tice. Another copy of Colwell's edition is in the British Museum. 
The play was reprinted in 66, and, with modernised spelling, in 
Dodsley's Old Plays and in the new edition of Dodsley by W. C. 
Hazlitt. An excellent edition, with the original spelling, was pub- 
lished in 1897 by Professor J. M. Manly, in vol. ii. of his 8p«imem 
of the Pre-Shaksperean Drama. Several of the readings which are 
given in Professor Manly's text or footnotes as those of Colwell's 
edition do hOt agree with those ether of the London or the Oxford 
copy. In the footnotes to the present edition reference to Colwell's, 
Hazlitt's, and Manly's editions are indicated by Ed. 1575, H. and 
M., respectively. 
HENRY BRADLEY. 

I In Pikeryng's Horestes (  567, which is some years earlier than the first known pubficafion 
of Gammer Gurtn, the country characters (one of whom is named Hodge) speak a strongl 
marked southwestern dialect. 



 1R2bt 

Pithy, Pleafaunt and me 
tic OEomclic : ,n 
tttt|f Gammer gur 
tons Nt'dle : lau_rl on 
Staflr, hot lonfle 
Colledge in Cambridge 

Made by Ir. S. Air. of trt. 



The 

Names 

of the Speakers 
Comedie 

in this 

Goal Save the Queene. 

1 The older form of Dick nickname for Richard. 
 Nickname for Roger. 
 Misprinted Docke. 
 Profesor Manly gives scapetbryk as the reading of the edition of, 575 ; but in the copies 
in the Bodleian Library and in the British Museum the naine is printed correctly. 

P. zoç represents the title-page (hut wlthout rhe border) fo hich l refer on p. 99- 
MI'. ,'. J. Lewis po,n,s oat to me .l.a. this wooJcut 6tic-p.*ge ha.I been used pre*iously by 
Wiiliarn Coplan:l, in 55, tor hi cdit,on of Doaglas' .'E.,., m.! PalAte " Hnour. 



Gammer Gurtons Nedle 

The Prologue. 

As Gammer Gurton with manye a wyde stvche 
Sat pesynge and patching of Hodg her mans briche, 
By chance or misfortune, as shee her geare tost, 
In Hodge lether bryches her needle shee lost. 
When Diccon the bedlem had hard by report .ç 
That good Gammer Gurton was robde in thys sorte, 
He quyetly perswaded with her in that stound 1 
Dame Chat, her deare gossyp, this needle had found ; 
Yet knew shee no more of this matter, alas ! 
Then knoeth Tom, our clarke, what the priest saith at 
masse. Io 
Hereof there ensued so fearfull a fraye, 
Mas u Doctor was sent for, these gossyps to staye, 
Because he was curate, and estemed full wyse; 
Who round that he sought hot, by Diccons device. 
When all thinges were tombled and cleane out of fassion, 5 
Whether it were by fortune, or some other constellacion, 
Sodenlye the neele Hodge round by the prickynge, 
And drew it out of his bottocke, where he feh it stickynge. 
Theyr hartes then at rest with perfect securytie, 
With a pot of good hale they stroake up theyr plauditie. ço 

!. moment rime. 

« A common contraction for mmter. 



2o8 Gammer Gurtons iVedle [^CT., 

The fyrst Acte. The fyrst Sceane. 

DICCON. 

Dicton. Many a myle have I walked, divers and sundry waies, 
And many a good mans house have I bin at in my daies; 
Many a gossips cup in my tyme have I tasted, 
And many a broche  and spyt have I both turned and bastedi 
Many a peece of bacon have I had out of thir balkes, 5 
In ronnvng over the countrey, with long and were walkes ; 
Yet came mv foote never within those doore cheekes, 
To seeke fle-h or fysh, garlyke, onyons, or leeke[s], 
That ever I saw a sorte z in s,'ch a plyght 
As here within this house appereth to my syght. IO 
There is howlynge and scowlyng, ail cast in a dumpe, 
çVith whewling and pewling, as though they had lost a 
trump. A ii b 
Svghing and sobbing, they weepe and they wayle; 
I marvell in mv mvnd what the devill thev avle. 
The olde trot svtsgroning, with alas! and al'as[ 15 
And Tib wringes her hands, and takes on in worse case. 
XVith poore Cocke, theyr boye, they be dryven in such fyts, 
I feare mee the folkes be not well in thevr wyts. 
Aske them what they ayle, or who brought them in this staye, 
They aunswer not at all, but ttalacke[,, and ttwelaway[,, 2o 
XVhan I saw it booted hOt, out at doores I hyed mee, 
And caught a slyp of bacon, when I saw that none spyed mee, 
XVhich I intend not far hence, unles my purpose fayle, 
Shall serve for a shoinghorne to draw on two pots of aie. 

, Broche' and ' spit' are synonvmous. 
set of people, company ; cf. Heywood, Play of tbe IV«tb«r, I. 94- 



SC, II] Gammer Gurtons Ared]e 209 

The fyrst Acte. The second Sceane. 
HocL Dcco. 

tIodge. See[ so cham i arayed with dablynge in the durt 
She that set me to ditchinge, ich wold she hat the squrt ! 
Was never poore soule that such a lire had. 
Gogs bones [ thys vylthy glaye hase drest me to bad 
Gods soule [ see how this stuffe teares! 
Iche were better to bee a bearward and set to keepe beares ! 
By the Masse, here is a gasshe, a shamefull hole in deade ! 
And one stytch teare furder, a man may thrust in his heade. 
Dicton. By my fathers soule, Hodge, if I shoulde now be sworne, 
I can not chuse but sav thy breech is foule betorne, 
But the next remedye n such a case and hap 
Is to plaunche on a piece as brode as thy cap. 
Hodge. Gogs soule, man, tis hOt yet two daves fully ended 
Synce my dame Gurton, chem sure, thCe breches amended ; 
But cham made suc[h]e a drudge to trudge at euery neede, 
Chwold rend it though it were stitched with 2 sturdy pacthreede. 
Diccon. Ho [d] ge, let thy breeches go, and speake and tell mee soone 
What devill ayleth Gammer Gurton & Tib her mayd to frowne. 
Hodge. Tush, man, thart deceyved- tys theyr dayly looke; 
They coure so over the coles, theyre eyes be bleared with 
smooke. 2o 
Diccon. Nay, by the masse, I perfectly perceived, as I came hether, 
That eyther Tib and her dame hath ben by the eares together, 
Or els as great a matter, as thou shalt shortlv see. 
Hodge. Now, iche beseeche our Lord they never better agree! 
Dicton. By Gogs soule, there they syt as still as stones in the streite, 
As though they had ben taken with fairies, or els with some il 
sprite. 26 
1 I ara. The rustlc dialect ir the Iiece is conventiona[, but ks general pecu[iarities are those 
of the southwestern counties ; icbe= I, reduced to ch in cirera, cioould, or cbvold (I would)» 
¢bvere» etc. The southwestern  for f is hot generally used, but occurs below in 
in .vau (I. iv. 8), and in atbers (II. i. 52) ; glaye for clay is probably hot genuine dialect. 
 MisprinteA obat. 



zo Gammer Gurtons ]Vedle [^c. 

Hodge. Gogs hart_ ! I durst have layd my cap to a crowne 
Chwould lerne of some prancome as sone as ich came to town. 
Diccon. XVhy, Hodge, art thou inspyred ? or dedst thou therof here ? 
Hodge. Nay, but ich saw such a wonder as ich saw nat this seven 
yere. 30 
Tome Tannkards cow, be Gogs bones ! she set me up ber saile, 
And flynging about his halle aker 1 fysking with ber talle, 
As though there had ben in her ars a swarme of bees, 
And chad hOt cryed "tphrowh, hoore," shead lept out of his 
]ees. 
Dicton. XVhy, Hodg, lies the connyng in Tare Tankards cowes 
taile ? 35 
Hodge. Well, ich chave hard some say such tokens da hOt fayle. 
Bot ca In]st thou hOt tell, 9 in faith, Diccon, why she frownes, 
or wher at ? 
Hath no man stolne ber ducks or hen[n]es, or gelded Gyb, 
her cat ? 
Dœecon. XVhat devyll can I tell, man ? I cold hOt bave one word! 
They gave no more hede to my talk than thow woldst to a larde. 
Badge. Iche cannot styll but muse, what mervaylous thinge it is. 
Chyll in and know mv selfe what matters are amys. 49- 
DiÆÆon. Then rare well, Hodge, a while, synce thou doest inward 
hast, 
For I will into the good wyfe Chats, to feele how the aie doth 
taste. 

The fyrst Acte. The thyrd Sceane. 
Ho»c. Tv. 

Hodge. Cham agast; by the masse, ich wot not what to da. 
Chad nede blesse me well before ich go them to. 
Perchaunce some felon sprit mav haunt our house indeed i 
And then chwere but a noddy to venter where cha no neede. 
1 H. prints ' haloe aker," with the following absurd note : " I believe we should read bals« 
ancbor, or anker» as it was ancicndy spelt i a naval phrase." s Ed. fS7 S till. 



sc. mi Gammer Gurtons 2Vedle i 

Tyb. Cham worse then mad, by the masse, tobe at this staye! 
Cham chyd, cham blamd, and beaton, ail thoures on the daye; 
Lamed and honger-storved, prycked up ail in jagges, 
Havyng no patch to hyde my backe, save a few rotten ragges ! 
Hodge. I say, Tyb m if thou be Tyb, as I trow sure thou bee,-- 
What devyll make a doe is this, betweene our dame and 
thee ?  
Tyb. Gogs breade, Hodg, thou had a good turne thou watt hOt 
here [this while][ , iii 
It had been better for some of us to have ben hence a myle ; 
My gammer is so out of course and frantyke all at ones, 
That Cocke, out boy, and I, poore wench, have fer it on our 
bones. 
Hodge. What is the matter--say on, Tib--wherat he taketh 
SO On .P I 
Tyb. She is undone, she sayth, alas ! ber joye and life is gone ! 
If shee here hot of some comfort, she is, fayth ! 1 but dead; 
Shal never corne within ber lyps one inch of meate ne bread. 
Hodge. Byr Ladie» cham hOt very glad to see ber in this dumpe. 
Cholde  a noble her stole hath fallen, & shee hath broke her 
rumpe. 20 
Tyb. Nay, and that were the worst, we wold hOt greatly care 
For bursting of her huckle bone, or breaking of her chaire ; 
But greatter, greater, is her grief, as, Hodge, we shall ail feele 
Hodge. Gogs woundes, Tyb ! my gammer bas never lost ber neele 
b. Her neele ! 
Hodge. Her neele [ z 
Tyb. Her neele! 
By him that ruade me, it is true, Hodge, I tell thee. 
Hodge. Gogs sacrament, I would she had lost tharte out of her bellie 
The Devill, or els his dame, they ought  ber, sure, a shame [ 
How a murryon came this chaunce, say, Tib ! unto out dame 
Tyb. My gammer sat ber downe on her pes, 4 and bad me reach 
thy breeches, 3o 
And by and by (a vengeance in it !) or she had take two stitches 

1 Prlnted saytb.  I hold, i.e. ' I wager." 
4 , Pess," a hassock (Rye's East lng/ian Glossar2' , English Dialect Society). 

 owed. 



zz Gammer Gurtons ]Ved/e [^c., 

To clap a clout upon thine ars, by chaunce asyde she leares, 
And Gyb, out cat, in the milke pan she spied over head and 
eares. 
«Ah, bore! out, thefe!" she cryed aloud, and swapt the 
breches downe. 4 
Up went her staffe, and out leapt Gyb at doors into the towne, 
And synce that ts me was never wyght cold set their eies upon it. 
Gogs malison ch'are (Cocke and I) bid twenty times light on it. 
Hodge. And is hot then my breeches sewid up, to morow that I 
shuld were ? 
Trb. No, in faith, Hodge, thy breeches lie for al this never the nere. 
Hodge. Now a ,,engeance light on al the sort, that better shold bave 
kept it, 4o 
The cat, the house, and Tib, our maid, that better shold have 
swept it ! 
Se where she cometh crawling! Come on, in twenty devils 
way ! 
Ye have made a fayre daies worke, have you not ? pray you, say ! 

The fyrst Acte. The iiii. Sceane. 
GAMMtR. Hotct. T¢s. CocKt. 

Gammer. Alas, Hoge, alas ! I may well cursse and ban ^ i, 
This daie, that ever I saw it, with Gvb and the mylke pan; 
For these and iii lucke togather, as kaoweth Cocke, mv boye, 
Have stacke away mv deare neele, and robd me of my joye, 
I/ fayre long stravht neele, that was mvne onely treasure ; 5 
Trie fvrst dav of mv sorow is, and last end of my pleasure! 
Hodg«. Might ha kept it when ye had it! but fooles will be fooles 
styll. 
Lose that is vast in your handes ye neede not but ye will. 
,ïamm«r. Go hie the, Tib, and run thou, hoore, to thend here of 
the towne ! 1 
Didst cary out dust in thy iap; seeke wher thou porest it 
downe, I 0 
I the ground attached to the bouse. (Cf. Sc. toun.) 



sc. ,.] Gammer Gurtons Aredle 2I 3 

And as thou sawest me roking, in the ashes where I morned, 
So see in ail the heape of dust thou leave no straw unturned. 
Tyb. That chai, Gammer, swythe and tyte,  and sone be here 
agayne ! 
Gammer. Tib, stoope & loke downe to the ground to it, and take 
some paine. 
Hodge. Here is a prety matter, to see this gere how it goes; 5 
By Gogs soule, I thenk you wold loes your ars, and it were 
loose ! 
Your neele lost, it is pitie you shold lack care and endlesse 
sorOWo 
Gogs deth! how shall my breches be sewid ? Shall I go thus 
to morow ? 
Gammer. Ah Hodg, Hodg! if that ich cold find my neele, by the 
reed, 
Chould sow thy breches, ich promise the, with full good double 
threed, 2o 
And set a patch on either knee shuld last this monethes twaine. 
Now God and good Saint Sithe 2 1 praye to send it home againe [ 
Hodge. Wherto served your hands and eies, but this your neele to 
kepe ? 
What devill had you els to do ? ye kept, ich wot, no sheepe ! 
Cham faine abrode to dyg and delve, in water, myre, and 
claye, 25 
Sossing and possing in the durte styll from day to daye. 
A hundred thinges that be abrode, cham set to see them weele, 
And four of you syt idle at home, and can hOt keepe a neele ! 
Gammer. My neele! alas! ich lost it, Hodge, what rime ich me 
up hasted 
To save the milke set up for the, which Gib, out cat, hath 
wasted. 3o 
HotCe. The Devill he burst both Gib and Tib, with al the test! 
Cham alwayes sure of the worst end, who ever bave the best! 
Where ha you ben fidging abrode, since you your neele lost ? 
Gammer. Vithin the house, and at the dote, sitting by this same 
post, 
1 with vigour and speed, prompdy.  Commonly supposed to mean St. Osyth. 



z  4 Gammer Gurtons Ared]e [^cT.  

Wher I was loking a long howre, before these folks came 
here ; 35 
But welaway, ail was in vayne, my neele is never the nere! 
Hodge. Set me a candle, let me seeke, and grope where ever it bee. 
Gogs hart, ye be so folish, ich thinke, you knowe it not when 
you it see! 
Gammer. Come hether, Cocke; what, Cocke, I say! 
Cocke. Howe, Gammer ? 
Gammer. Goe, hye the soone, 
And grope behynd the old brasse pan, whych thing when thou 
hast done, 40 
Ther shalt thou fvnd an old shooe, wherein if thou look well, 
Thou shalt fynd l'yeng an inche of a whyte tallow candell. 
Lyght it, and bryng it tite away. 
Cocke. That shalbe done anone. 
Gammer. Nay, tary, Hodge, till thou hast light, and then weele 
seke ech one. 45 
Hodge. Cum away, ye horson boy, are ye aslepe ? ye must have a 
crier ! 
Cocke. Ich cannot get the candel light : here is almost no fier. 
Hodge. Chil hold 1 the a peny chil make the corne, if that ich may 
catch thine eares ! 
Art deffe, thou horson boy? Cocke, I say; why canst not 
heares ? 
Gammer. Beate hym not, Hodge, but help the boy, and corne you 
two together. 

The i Acte. The v Sceane. 

GAMMER. Tw. Coc. I-ODGE. 

Gammer. How now, Tib ? quycke, lets here what newes thou hast 
brought hether ! 
7yb. Chave tost and tumbled yender heap out and over againe, 
And winowed it through my fingers, as men wold winow grain 
I wager» ber i compare note z, page xol. Ed. z575 beld. 



sc. ri Gammer Gurtons _]Vedle 215 

Not so much as a hens turd but in pieces I tare it, 
Or what so ever clod or clay I round, I did hOt spare it, 5 
Lokyng within and eke without, to fynd your neele, alas! 
But ail in vaine and without help ! your neele is where it was. 
Gammer. Alas my neele ! we shali never meete ! adue, adue, for are ! 
Tvb. Not so, Gammer, we myght it fynd, if we knew where it l:ve. 
ocke. Gogs crosse, Gammer, if ye wiil iaugh, iooke in but at the 
doore, 1 o 
And see how Hodg iieth tombling and tossing amids the floure, 
Rakyng there some lyre to fynd amonge the asshes dead, 
Vhere there is hot one sparke so byg as a pyns head; 
At iast in a darke corner two sparkes he thought he sees, 
.Vhich were indede nought els but Gvb out cats two eves. 15 
" Puffe!" quod Hodg, thinking therlv to bave lyre ,vithout 
doubt i 
.Vith that Gvb shut ber two eyes, and so the lyre was out ; 
And bv and Iy them opened, even as thev were belote; 
Vith hat the sparkes appered, even as tirer had done of yore ; 
And even as Hodge blew the tire (as he dil thinke), o 
Gib, as she felt the blast, stra.vghtwa.v began to wvnckei 
Tvli Hodge feli of swering as came best to his turne, 
The fier was sure bewicht, aqd therfore wold hot hume. 
At iast Gvb up the stayers, among the oid postes and pinqes 
And Hodge he hied him after, tili broke were both his 
shinnes ; 25 
Cursyng and swering orbes were never of his makyng, 
That Gyb woid lyre the bouse if that shee were hOt taken. 
Gammer. See, here is ail the thought that the foolysh urchvn taketh ! 
And Tyb, me thinke, at his elbowe aimost as mery maketh. 
This is ail the wyt ye bave, when others make their mone. 3 ° 
Cum downe Hodge, where art thou ? and let the cat aione! 
Hodge. Gogs harte, heip and corne up ! Gvb in her tayle hath vre, 
And is like to burne ail, if shee get aivtle hier! 
Cure downe, quoth you ? nay, then vou night count me a patch. 1 
The bouse commeth downe on your heads, if it take ons thc 
thatch. 35 
a a fool, jes. 



6 Gammer Gurtons Nedle 

Gammer. It is the cats eyes, foole, that shyneth in the darke. 
Hodge. Hath the cat, do you thinke, in every eve a sparke ? 
Gammer. No, but they shyne as l)ke fyre as ever man see. 
Hodge. By the masse, and she burne ail, yoush beare the blame for mee [ 
Gammer. Cum downe and helpe to seeke here out neele, that it were 
found. 40 
Downe, Tyb, on the knees, I say! Downe, Cocke, to the 
ground ! 
To God I make avowe, and so to good Saint Arme, 
A candell shall they bave a pece, get it where I can, 
If I maï taï neele find in one place or in other. 
Hodge. Now a vengeaunce on Gyb light, on Gyb and Gybs 
mother, 45 
And ail the generacyon of cats both far and nere ! 
Loke on this ground, horson, thinks thou the neele is here ? 
Cocke. Bv mv trouth, Gammer, me thought your neele here I saw, 
But whên my fyngers toucht it, I felt it was a straw. 
Tvb. See, Hodge, whats t[h]ys ? may it not be within it ? .50 
Hodge. Breake it, foole, with thy hand, and see and thou canst fynde it. 
Tvb. Nay, breake it you, Hodge, cordyng to your word. 
Hodge. Gogs svdes[ fye! it styncks; it is a cats tourd! 
It were wCÂ done to make thee eate it, by the masse ! 
Gammer. This matter amendeth hot ; my neele is still where it 
wasse. 55 
Out candle is at an ende, let us ail in quight, 
And come another tyme, when we bave more lyght. 

The Second Acte. 
First a 8ong. 1 
Backe and syde go bare, go bare, 
Booth foote and bande go colde; 
But bellye, God send thee good aie ynoughe, 
,Vhether it be newe or olde. 
1 For the older and better form of this song» sec Appendix. 



c. q Gammer Gurtons gVedle z  7 

I can hot eate but lytle meate, 
My stomacke is hOt good ; 
But sure I thinke that I can drinke 
With him that weares a hood. 
Thoughe I go bare, take ye no care, 
[ am nothinge a colde ; 
I stuffe my skyn so full within 
Ofjoly good ale and olde. 
Backe and syde go bare, go bare, etc. 
I love no rost but a nut browne toste 
And a crab layde in the fyre.  
A lytle bread shall do me stead: 
Much breade I hOt desyre. 
No froste nor SHOW, no winde, I trowe 
Can hurte mee if I wolde; 
I ara so wrapt, and throwly lapt 
Of joly good aie and olde. 
Backe and syde go bare, etc. 
And Tyb my wyfe, that as her lyfe 
Loveth well good aie to seeke, 
Full ofte drynkes shee tyll ye may see 
The teares run downe her cheeke ; 
Then dooth she trowle to mee the bowle 
Even as a mault worme shuld ; 
And sayth, sweete hart, I tooke my part 
Of this joly good aie and olde. 
Backe and syde go bare, etc. 
Now let them drynke till they nod and winke 
Even as good felowes shoulde doe ; 
They shall hot miss to have the bliss 
Good aie doth bringe men to ; 
1 A roasted crab-apple was placed in a bowl of aie to give it a flavour and take off the chilL 
Compare midsummer lVigbt's Dream !!. i. 4.8, and Nashe, 8ummer's I.at Will and 
Sitting in a corner turning crabs 
Or ¢oughing o'er a warmed pot of aie. 



_ 18 Gammer Gurtons red]e [^ct.  

And ail poore soules that have scowred boules, 
Or have them lustly trolde, 
God save the lyves of them and theyr wyves, 
Whether they be yonge or olde. 
Backe and syde go bare, etc. 

[The Second Acte.] The Fyrst Sceane. 

DICCON. HODGE. 

Diccon. Vell done, by Gogs malt! well songe and well sayde! 
Crne on, mother Chat, as thou art true mayde, 
One fresh pot of aie lets see, to make an ende 
Agaynst this colde wether my naked armes to defende! 
This gere it warms the soule ! Now, wind, blow on the worst [ $ 
And let us drink and swill till that our bellies burste! 
Now were he a wise man by cunnynge could defyne 
V¢hich way my journey lyeth, or where Dyccon will dyne! 
But one good turne [ have : be it by nyght or daye, 
South, east, north or west, I ara never out of my waye [ o 
Hodge. Chym goodly rewarded, cham I not, do you thyncke ? 
Chad a goodly dynner for all my sweate and swyncke ! 
Neyther butter, cheese, mylke, onyons, fleshe, nor fyshe, 
Save this poor pece of" barly bread : tis a pleasant costly dishe! 
Diccon. Haile, fellow Hodge, and well 1 to rare with thy meat, if 
thou have any: I. 
But by thy words, as I them smelled, thy r daintrels be not 
manye. 
Hodge. Daintrels, Diccon ? Gogs soule, man, save tnis piece of 
drv horsbread, 
Cha byt no byt this lyvelonge daie, no crome corne in my 
head : 
My gutts they yawle-crawle, and all my belly rumbleth ; 
The puddyngesU cannot lye still, each one over other tum- 
bleth. 2o 

s A. 575 i!. s cnra 



«. ] Gammer Gurtons red/e z,9 

By Gogs harte, cham so vexte, and in my belly pende, 
Chould one peece were at the spittlehouse, another at the cas- 
telle ende ! 
Diccon. Wh)', Hodge, was there none at home thy dinner for to set ? 
Hodge. Gogs  bread, Diccon, ich came to late, was nothing there 
to get ! 
Gib (a fowle feind might on her light !) lickt the milke pan 
so clene, 2 5 
See, Diccon, twas not so well washt this seven yere, as ich 
Welle ! 
A pestilence light on ail iii lucke! chad thought, yet for 
thys 
Of a morsell of bacon behynde the dote at worst shuld hot 
misse : 
But when ich sought a slyp to cut, as ich was wont to do, 
Gogs soule, Diccon ! Gyb, out cat, had eate the bacon to ! 3 ° 
( ll'hicb bacon Dicton Jtole, as is declared before.) 
Diccon. III luck, quod he[ mary, swere it, Hodge[ this day, the 
trueth to tel, 
Thou rose hot on thy ryght syde, or eise blest thee hot wel. 
Thy milk slopt up [ thy bacon filtched [ that was to bad luck, 
Hodg [ 
Hodge. Nay, nay, ther was a fowler fault, my Gammer ga me the 
dodge ; z 
Seest hot how cham rent and torn, mv heels, mv knees, and 
mv breech ? 35 
Chad tlought, as ich sat bv the tire, help here and there a stitch : 
But there ich was powpt  indeede. 
Diccon. .Vhy, Hodge ? 
Hodge. Bootes not, man, to tell. 
Cham so drest amongst a sorte of fooles, chad better be in hell. 
My gammer (cham ashamed to say h by God, served me hOt 
weele. 
Dicton. How so, Hodge ? 
Hodge. Has she not gone, trowest now, and lost her neele 
I Ed. 575 Godgs. '2. Ed. 575 dogde.  deceived. 



zo Gammer Gurtons Nedle [^c-. n 

Dicton. Her eele, Hodge ? Vho fysht of late? That was a dainty 
dysh ! 4 
Hodge. Tush tush her neele her neele her neele man[ tis nei- 
ther flesh nor fysh; 
A lytle thing with an hole in the end as bright as any sylle G 
Small longe sharpe at the poynt and straight as any pyller. 
Diccon. I know not what a devil thou meenst thou bringst me more 
in doubt. 4.$ 
Hodge. Knowst not with what Tom Tailers man sits broching 
throughe a clout ? 
A neele, a neele, a neele! my gammer's neele is gone. 
l)iccon. Her neele Hodge ? now I smel thee! that was a chaunce 
alone ! 
By the masse thou hast a shamefu]l losse and it wer but for 
thy breches. 
Hodge. Gogs soule, man chould give a crown chad it but three 
stitches. 5 o 
Dicton. How sayest thou, Hodge ? ,Vhat shuld he have, again thy 
nedle got ? 
Hodge. Bem vathers soule, and chad it, chould give him a new grot. 
Dicton. Canst thou keep counsaile in this case ? 
Hodge. Else chwold my tonge I were out. 
Dtc«on. Do than but then by my advise, and I will fetch it without 
doubt. 
Hodge. Chyll runne, chyll ryde, chyll dygge, chyl delve, chill toyle, 
chill trudge, shalt see; 55 
Chill hold, chil drawe, chil pull, chill pynche, chill kneele on 
mv bare knee; 
Chill scrape, chill scratche, chill syfte, chill seeke, chill bowe, 
chill bende, chill sweate, 
Chill stoop, chil stur, chil cap, chil knele, chil crepe on hands 
and feete ; 
Chill be thy bondman, Diccon, ich sweare by sunne and moone. 
And channot sumwhat to stop this gap, cham utterly undone ! 6o 
(Pointing behind to his torne breeches. ) 



c.q Gammer Gurtons A/redire zz 

Dkcon. Why, is there any special cause thou takest hereat such 
SOrOW . 
Hodge. Kirstian Clack, Tom Simpsons maid, by the masse, coms 
hether to morow, 
Cham not able to say, betweene us what may hap; 
She smyled on me the last Sunday, when ich put of my cap. 
Dicton. Well, Hodge, this is a marrer of weight, and must be kept 
close, 6 5 
It might els turne to both out costes, as the world now gose. 
Shalt sware tobe no blab, Hodge 
Hodge. Chyll, Diccon. 
Dicton. Then go to, 
Lay thine hand here; say after me as thou shal here me do. 
Haste no booke ? 
Hodge. Cha no booke, I 
Dicton. Then needes must force us both, 
Upon my breech to lay thine hand, and there to take thine 
othe. 
Hodge. I, Hodge, breechelesse 
Sweare to Diccon, rechelesse, 
By the crosse that I shall kysse, 
To keep his counsaile close, 
And alwayes me to dispose 75 
To worke that his pleasure is. (Here be kyJsetb Dccos bree¢b.) 
Dicton. Now, Hodge, see thou take heede, 
And do as I thee byd; 
For so I judge it meete ; 
This nedle again to win, 80 
There is no shift therin 
But conjure up a spreete. 
Hodge. What, the great devill, Diccon, I saye 
Dicton. Yea, in good faith, that is the waye. 
Fet with some prety charme. 85 
Hodge. Soft, Diccon, be not to hasty yet, 
By the masse, for ich begyn to sweat [ 
Cham afrayde of some 1 harme. 
 Tr..d. ! 575 



zzz Gammer Gurtons Nedle [^cT. Il 

Dicton. Corne hether, then, and sturre the nat 
One inche out of this cyrcle plat, 
But stande as I thee teache. 
Hodge. And shall ich be here sale from theyr clawes ? 
Dicton. The mayster devill with his longe pawes 
Here to the can hot reache. 
Now will I settle me to this geare. 
Hodge. I saye, Diccon, heare me, heare! 
Go softely to thys matter! 
Dicton. .Vhat devyll, man . art afraide of nought . 
Hodge. Çanst hOt tarrye a lytle thought 
Tyll ich make a curtesie of water ? 
Dicton. Stand still to it; why shuldest thou feare hym ? 
Hodge. Gogs sydes, Diccon, me thinke ich heare him! 
And tarrye, chal mare all! 
Dicton. The matter is no worse than I roide it. 
Hodge. Bv the masse, cham able no longer to holde it! 
To lad ! iche must beray the hall! 
Dicton. Stand toit, Hodge! sture hot, vou horson ! 
.Vhat decyll, be thine ars strynges brusten ? 
Thvselfe a while but staye, 
The devill (I smell hym) will be here anone. 
Hodge. Hold him fast, Diccon, cham gone! cham gone[ 
Chyll hot be at that fraye! 

9o 

95 

IOO 

o5 

II0 

The il Acte. The il Sceane. 

DICCON. CHAT. 

Dicton. Fy, shytten knave, and out upon thee! 
Above ail other loutes, fye on thee! 
Is not here a clenly prancke ? 
But thy matter was no better, 
Nor thy presence here no sweter, 
To flye I can the thanke) 
 iv¢ thee thaaka. 



sc.] Gammer Gurtons ]Vedle zz 3 

Here is a matter worthy glosynge, 
Of Gammer Gurton nedle losynge, 
And a foule peece of warke[ 
A man I thyncke myght make a playe, 
And nede no worde to this they saye» 
Being but halle a clarke. 

IO 

Softe, let me alone [ I will take the charge 
This matter further to enlarge 
Within a tyme shorte. 
If ye will marke my toyes, and note» 
I will geve ye leave to cut my throte 
If I make hot good sporte. 

15 

Dame Chat, I say, where be ye ? within ? 
Chat. Who have we there maketh such a din ? .o 
Dicton. Here is a good fellow maketh no great daunger. 
Chat. Vhat, Diccon? Corne nere, ye be no straunger. 
Ve be fast set at trumpe, man, hard by the lyre; 
Thou shalt set on the king, if thou corne a little nver. 
Diccon. Nay, nay, there is no tarying; I must be gone againe. 2 5 
But first for you in councel I have a word or twain. 
Chat. Crne hether, Dol! Dol, sit downe and play this game, 
And as thou sawest me do, sec thou do even the same. 
There is rive trumps beside the queene, the hindmost thou 
shalt finde her. 
Take hede of Sim Glovers wife, she bath an eie behind 
her [ 3o 
Now, Diccon, say your will. 
Diccon. Nay, sorte a little yet; 
I wold hOt tel it my sister, the matter is so great. 
There I wil have you sweare by out dere Lady of Bullaine, 
Saint Dunstone, and Saint Donnyke, with the three kings of 
Kullaine, 
That ye shal keepe it secret. 
Chat. Gogs bread[ that will I doo[ 35 
As secret as mine owne thought, by God and the devil twol 



z-4 Gammer Gurtons Ned]e [ACT. ii 

Di«on. Here is Gammer Gurton, your neighbour, a sad and hevy 
wight : 
Her goodly faire red cock at home was stole this last night. 
Chat. Gogs soul ! ber cock with the yelow legs, that nightly crowed 
so just . 
Dicton. That cock is stollen. 
Chat. ,Vhat, was he fet out of the hens ruste ? 4.o 
Dicton. I can not tel where the devil he was kept, under key or 
locke ; 
But Tib hatb tykled in Gammers eare, that you shoulde steale 
the cocke. 
Chat. Have I, stronge hoore ? by bread and salte !- 
Dicton. Vhat, softe, I say, be styl! 
Say not one word for ail this geare. 
Chat. By the masse, that I wyl! 
I wil bave the yong hore by the head, & the old trot by the 
throte. 4.5 
Diccon. Not one word, Dame Chat, I say ;not one word, for my 
cote ! 
Chat. Shall such a begars brawle  as that, thinkest thou, make me 
a theefe ? 
The pocks light on her hores sydes, a pestlence and a mis- 
cheefe [ 
Corne out, thou hungry nedy bytche [ O that my nails be short [ 
Dicton. Gogs bred, woman, hold your peace[ this gere wil els 
passe sport ! 50 
I wold hot for an hundred pound this mater shuld be knowen, 
That I am auctour of this tale, or have abrode it blowen ! 
Did ye not sweare 'e wold be ruled, before the tale I tolde ? 
I said ye must ail secret keepe, and ye said sure ve wolde. 
Chat. ,Volde you surfer, your selfe, Diccon, such a sort to revile 
you, 55 
Vith slaunderous words to blot your name, and so to defile you ? 
Dicton. No, Goodwife Chat, I wold be loth such drabs shulde blot 
my naine ; 
But yet ye must so order ail that Diccon beare no blame. 
 offspring» brat. 



.c. zzz] Gammer Gurtons ]Vedle 2 z  

Chat. Go to, then, what is your rede ? say on your minde, ye shall 
mee rule herein. 
Diccon. Godamercye to Dame Chat! In faith thou must the gere 
begin. 6o 
It is twenty pound to a goose turd, my gammer will not tary, 
But hether ward she cornes as fast as ber legs can ber cary, 
To brawle with you about her cocke ; for wel I hard Tib say 
The Cocke was rosted in your bouse to brea [k] fast yesterday ; 
And when ye had the carcas eaten, the fethers ye out flunge, 65 
And Doll, your maid, the legs she hid a foote depe in the dunge. 
Chat. Oh gracyous God [ my harte it  burstes [ 
Diccon. Well, rule your selfe a space ; 
And Gammer Gurton when she commeth anon into thys place, 
Then to the queane, lets see, tell ber your mynd and spare 
hOt. 
So shall Diccon blamelesse bee ; and then, go to, I care not! 7o 
Chat. Then, hoore, beware her throte! I can abide no longer. 
In faith, old witch, it shalbe seene which of us two be stronger ! 
And, Diccon, but at your request, I wold not stav one howre. 
Diccon. Well, keepe it till she be here, and then out lét it powre! 
In the meane while get you in, and make no wordes of this. 75 
More of this matter within this howre to here you shall hot 
misse, 
Because I knew you are my freind, hide it I cold hot, doubtles. 
Ye know your barre, see ye be wise about your owne busines ! 
So fare ye well. 9 
Chat. Nay, soft, Diccon, and drynke ! XVhat, Doll, I say ! 
Bringe here a cup of the best aie; lets see, corne quicly 
a waye [ 8o 

The ii Acte. The iii Sceane. c 
HoDc. Dccom 
Diccon. Ye see, masters, that one end tapt of thls my short devise! 
Now must we broche thot[h]er to, belote the smoke arise; 
1 Ed. 1575 « is "i the reading adopted seems better than is burste. 2 Ed. 1575 wtll. 



zz6 Gammer Gurtons _]Ved]e [^cx. n 

And bv the time they have a while run, I trust ye need not 
crave it. 
But loke, what lieth in both their harts, ye ar like sure, to 
have it. 
Hodge. Yea, Gogs soule, art alive yet ? What, Diccon, dare ich 
corne ? 5 
Diccon. A man is wel hied to trust to thee; I wil say nothing but 
mure; 
But and ye corne any nearer, I pray you see ail be sweete ! 
Hodge. Tush, man, is Gammers neele found ? that chould gladly 
weete. 
Di«on. She may thanke thee it is not round, for if thou had kept 
thy standing, 
The devil he wold have fet it out, even, Hodge, at thy com- 
maunding.  o 
Hodge. Gogs hart, and cold he tel nothing wher the neele might be 
round ? 
Di«on. Ye folysh doit, ye were to seek, ear we had got out ground ; 
Therefore his tale so doubtfull was that I cold not perceive it. 
Hodge. Then ich se wel somthing was said, chope 1 one day yet to 
have it. 
But Diccon, Diccon, did not the devill cry "ho, ho, ho "? 5 
Di«on. If thou hadst taryed where thou stoodst, thou woldest 
have said so! 
Hodge. Durst swere of a boke, chard him rore, streight after ich 
was gon. 
But tel me, Diccon, what said the knave? let me here it 
anon. 
Diccon. The horson talked to mee, I know hot well of what. 
One whyle his tonge it ran and paltered of a cat, zo 
Another whyle he stamered stvll uppon a Rat ; 
Last of ail, there was nothing but every word, Chat, Chat ; 
But this I well perceyved before I wolde him rid, 
Betweene Chat, and the Rat, and the cat, the nedle is hyd. 
Now wether Gyb, our cat, have eate it in her mawe, 2 5 
Or Doctor Rat, our curat, have found it in the straw 
 I hope. 



sc. ,,] Gammer Gurtons Ndle -7 

Or this Dame Chat, your neighbour, have stollen it, God hee 
knoweth ! 
But by the morow at this time, we shal learn how the matter 
goeth. 
Hodge. Canst hot learn tonight, man ? seest hot what is here ? 
( Pointyng kebind to bis torne kree«bes. ) 
Diccon. Tys hot possyble to make it sooner appere. 3o 
Hodge. Alas, Diccon, then chave no shyft, but--least ich tary to 
longe -- 
Hye me to Sym Glovers shop, theare to seeke for a thonge, 
Therwith this breech to tatche and tye as ich may. 
Diccon. To morow, Hodg, if we chaunce to meete, shalt see what 
I will say. 

The ii Acte. The iiii Sceane. 

DccoN. GAMMER. 

Dicton. Now this gere must forward goe, for here my gammer com- 
meth. 
Be still a while and say nothing; make here a little romth. 1 
Gammer. Good Lord, shall never be my lucke my neele agayne to 
spye ? 
Alas, the whyle ! tys past my helpe, where ris still it must lye [ 
Diccon. Now, Jesus[ Gammer Gurton, what driveth you to this 
sadnes ? 5 
I feare me, by my conscience, you will sure fall to madnes. 
Gammer. Who is that ? What, Diccon ? cham lost, man! fye, fye! 
Diccon. Mary, fy on them that be worthy! but what shuld be your 
troble ? 
Gammer. Alas ! the more ich thinke on it, my sorow it waxeth doble. 
My goodly tossing  sporyars a neele chave lost ich wot hot 
where.  o 
Dicton. Your neele ? whan ? 
Gammer. My neele, alas! ich myght full iii it spare 
1 room.  first-rate, s spurrier's, harnes-maker's. 



--8 Gammer Gurtons ]Vedle [^«. n 

As God him seife he knoweth, nere one besyde chave. 
Dicton. If this be ail, good Gammer, I warrant you ail is save. 
Gammer. Vhy, know you any tydings which way my neele is 
gone ? 
Diccon. Yea, that I do doubtlesse, as ye shali here anone. 15 
A see a thing this matter toucheth, within these twenty howres, 
Even at this gate, before mv face, by a neyghbour of yours. 
She stooped me downe, and up she toke a nedle or a pyn. 
I durst be sworne it was even yours, by ail my mothers kyn. 
Gammer. It was my neele, Diccon, ich wot ; for here, even by this 
poste, 2o 
Ich sat, what time as ich up starte, and so my neele it loste. 
Vho was it, ieive I son ? speke, ich pray the, and quickly teli 
me that ! 
Dicton. A suttle queane as any in thys towne, your neyghboure 
here, Dame Chat. 
Gammer. Dame Chat, Diccon ? Let me be gone, chii thyther in 
post haste. 
Dicton. Take my counceli yet or ye go, for feare ye walke in 
wast. 2 5 
It is a murrion crafty drab, and froward tobe pleased ; 
And ye take hot the better way, out nedle yet ye lose I it : 
For when she tooke it up, even here belote your doores, 
" Vhat, sort, Dame Chat" (quoth I), "that same is none of 
yours." 
"Avant," quoth she, "syr knave ! what pratest thou of that I 
fvnd ? 3 ° 
I wold thou hast kist me I wot whear;" she ment, I know, 
behind ; 
And home she went as brag as it had ben a bodelouce, 
And I after, as boid as it had ben the goodman of the bouse. 
But there and ye had hard ber, how she began to scolde ! 
The tonge it went on patins, by hvm that Judas solde! 35 
Ech other worde I was a knave, and you a bore of hores, 
Because I spake in your behalfe, and sayde the neele was 
}/ours. 
1 dear.  Read « lese," for the rime. 



sc. ri Gammer Gurtons 2Ved/e 2z 9 

Gammer. Gogs bread, and thinks that that callet thus to kepe my 
neele me fro ? 
Diccon. Let her alone, and she minds non other but even to dresse 
yOU SO, 
Gammer. By the masse, chil rather spend the cote that is on my 
backe ! 4o 
Thinks the false quean by such a slygh [t] that chill my neele 
lacke ? 
Diccon. Slepe  hOt you[r] gere, I counsell you, but of this take 
good hede : 
Let hOt be knowen I told you of it, how well soever ye 
spede. 
Gammer. Chil in, Diccon, a cleene aperne to take and set before 
me i 
And ich may my neele once see, chil, sure, remember the! 45 

The ii Acte. The v Sceane. 

DIccoN. 

Diccon. Here will the sporte begin; if these two once may meete, 
Their chere, durst lay money, will prove scarsly sweete. 
Mv gammer» sure, entends to be uppon her bones 
With staves, or with clubs, or els with coble stones. 
Dame Chat, on the other syde, if she be far behvnde 5 
I ara right far deceived ; she is geven to it of kvnde. 2 
He that may tarry by it awhyle, and that but slorte, 
I warrant hym, trust to it, he shall sec ail the sporte. 
Into the towne will I, my frendes to vysit there, 
And hether straight againe to see thend of this gere. IO 
In the meane time, felowes, pype upp; your fiddles, I saie 
take them, 
And let your freyndes here such mirth as ye can make them. 

slip, neglect. Perhaps we should read 'yon" for 'you[r].' 
by nature. 



z3o Gammer Gurtons ]Vedle [^c. u 

The iii. Acte. The i Sceane. 

HODGE. 

Hodge. Sym Glover, yet gramercy ! cham meetlye well sped now, 
Thart even as good a felow as ever kyste a cowe ! 
Here is a thonge 1 in dede, by the masse, though ich speake it; 
Tom Tankards great bald curtal, I thinke, could hOt breake it 
And when he spyed my neede to be so straight and hard, 
Hays lent me here his naull, 9 to set the gyb forward, 3 6 
As for my gammers neele, the flyenge feynd go weete ! 
Çhill hot now go to the doore againe with it to meete. 
Chould make shyfte good inough and chad a candels ende ; 
The cheefe hole in my breeche with these two chil amende. o 

The iii. Acte. The ii Sceane. 

GAMMER. HODGE. 

Gammer. Now Hodge, mayst nowe be glade, cha newes to tell thee ; 
/ch knowe wbo hais mv neele; ich trust soone shalt it see. 
Hodge. The devyll thou des! hast hard, Gammer, in deede, or 
doest but jest ? 
Gammer. Tys as true as steele, Hodge. 
Hodge. .Vhy, knowest well where dydst leese it ? 
Gammer. Ich know who found it, and tooke it up! shalt see or it 
be longe. 5 
Hodge. Gods mother dere! if that be true, farwel both naule an 
thong ! 
But who hais it, Gammer, say on; chould faine here it dis- 
closed. 
Gammer. That false fixen, that same Dame Çhat, that counts her 
selfe so honest. 
I Ed. 1575 bas thynge. 2awl. 
a Apparently a proverbial phrase, meaning ' to expedite matters.' 



c. I] Gammer Gurtans ed]e  3  

Hodge. Who tolde you so ? 
Gammer. That same did Diccon the bedlam, which saw it done. 
Hodge. Diccon ? itis a vengeable knave, Gammer, ris a bonable 
horson, I 0 
Cn do mo things then that, els cham deceyved evill : 
By the masse ich saw him of late cal up a great blacke 
devill ! 
O the knave cryed «« ho ho ! " he roared and he thundred, 
And yead bene here cham sure yould murrenly ha wondred. 
Gammer. Was hot thou afraide Hodge to see him in this 
place ?  S 
Hodge. No, and chad come to me, chould have lail him on the 
face, 
Chould have, promised him! 
Gammer. But, Hodge, had he no hornes to pushe ? 
Hodge. As long as your two armes. Saw ye never Fryer Rushe  
Painted on a cloth, with a side long cowes tayle, 
And crooked cloven feete, and many a hoked navle ? 20 
For al the world, if I shuld judg, chould reCken him his 
brother. 
Loke, even what face Frier Rush had, the devil had such 
another. 
Gammer. Now Jesus mercy, Hodg! did Diccon in him bring ? 
Hodge. Nay Gammer, here me speke, chil tel you a greater thing; 
The devil (when Diccon had him, ich hard him wondrous 
weel) 25 
Sayd plainly here before us, that Dame Chat had your 
neele. 
G[am]mer. Then let us go, and aske ber wherfore she minds to 
kepe it ; 
Seing we know so much, tware a madnes now to slepe it. 
Hodge. Go to her, Gammer; see ye hot where she stands in her 
doores ? 
Byd her geve you the neele, tys none of hers but yours. 3 ° 

 abominable. 
* ' Friar Rush,' the chier personage in a popular story translated from the German, whkh 
relates the adventures of a devil in the disguise of a friar. 



z3z Gammer Gurtons Nedle [^«. zz, 

The iii. Acte. The iii. Sceane. 

GramMEs. C.tcr. 

Gammer. Dame Chat, cholde praye the fair, let me have that is 
mine ! 
Chil not this twenty yeres take one fart that is thyne; 
Therefore give me mine owne, and let me lire besyde the. 
Chat. x, Vhv art thou crept from home hether, to mine own doores 
to chide me ? 
Hence, doting drab, avaunt, or I shall set the further! 5 
Intends thou and that knave mee in my house to murther ? 
Gammer. Tush, gape not so on1 me, woman! shalt hot yet eate 
mee ! 
Nor ail the frends thou hast in this shall hot intreate mee! 
Mine owne goods I will bave, and aske the no s beleve, a 
Vhat, woman ! pore folks must have right, though the thing 
you aggreve. Io 
Chat. Give thee thy right, and hang the up, with al thy baggers 
broode ! 
Vhat, wilt thou make me a theefe, and say I stole thy good ? 
Gammer. Chii say nothing, ich warrant thee, but that ich can prove 
it well. 
Thou fet my good even from mv" doore, cham able this to tel! 
Chat. Dvd I, olde witche, steale oft i was thine ? how should that 
thing be knowen ?  5 
Gammer. Ich can no tel; but up thou tokest it as though it bad 
ben thine owne, 
Chat. Mary, fv on thee, thou old gyb, with al my very hart ! 
Gammer. Nay, fy on thee, thou rampe, thou ryg, with al that take 
thy parte ! 
Chat. A vengeance on those lips that laieth such things to my 
charge ! 
Gammer. A vengeance on those callats hips, wbose conscience is 
so large ! o 
x Ed. 575 no.  Ed. 575 on. s ave» permission. «aught. 



sc. .] Gammer Gurtons redle  3 3 

Cat. Corne out, hogge ! 
Gammer. Corne out, hogge, and let have me right ! 
Chat. Thou arrant witche! 
Gammer. Thou bawdie bitche, chil make thee cursse this night ! 
Chat. A bag and a wallet ! 
Gammer. A carte for a callet ! 
Chat. Why, wenest thou thus to prevaile ? 
I hold thee a grote, I shall patche thy coate! c iii 
Gammer. Thou warte as good kysse my tayle ! 
Thou slut, thou kut, thou rakes, thou jakes! will not shame 
make the hide [the] ? 25 
Chat. Thou skald, thou bald, thou rotten thou glotton ! I will no 
longer chyd the, 
But I will teache the to kepe home. 
Gammer. ,Vylt thou, drunken beaste ? 
Hodge. Sticke to her, Gammer! take her by the head, chil warrant 
),ou thys feast ! 
Smyte, I saye, Gammer! Byte, I say, Gammer! I trow ye 
wyli be keene! 
Where be your nayls? claw ber by the jawes, pull me out 
bothe her e),en. 3 ° 
Gogs bones, Gammer, holde up your head ! 
Chat. I trow, drab, I shali dresse thee. 
Tary, thou knave I hoid the a grote I shall make these hands 
blesse thee ! 
Take thou this old hore for amends, and ierne thy ronge weii 
to tame, 
And say thou met at this bickering, not thy fellow but thy dame ! 
Hodge. Where is the strong stued bore? chii geare a hores 
marke ! 35 
Stand out ones way that ich kyil none in the darke! 
Up, Gammer, and ye be alyve ! chil fe),gh [t] now for us bothe. 
Corne no nere me thou scalde cailet ! to k),li the ich wer loth. 
Chat. Art here agayne, thou hoddy peke. what Doli! bryng me 
out m), spitte. 
Hodge. Chill broche thee wvth this, bim father soule chyil conjure 
that foule sprete ! 4 ° 



234 Gammer Gurtons Nd]e [Acv. m 

Let dore stand, Cock ! why coms, in deede ? kepe dore, thou 
horson boy ! 
Chat. Stand toit, thou dastard, for thine eares, ise teche the, a slut- 
tish toye ! 
Hodge. Gogs woundes, bore, chil make the avaunte! take heede, 
Cocke, pull in the latche ! 
Chat. Ifaith, sir Loose-breche, had ye taried, ye shold bave round 
your match ! 
Gammer. Now ware thy throte, losell, thouse paye 1 for al! 
Hodge. Vell said, Gammer, by my soule. 45 
Hoyse her, souse her, bounce her, trounce her, pull out her 
throte boule ! 
Chat. Comst behynd me, thou withered witch ? and I get once on 
foote 
Thouse pay for ail, thou old tarlether ! ile teach the what longs 
to it ! 
Take the this to make up thy mouth til time thou corne by 
more ! 
Hodge. Up, Gammer, stande on your feete; where is the olde 
bore ? 50 
Faith, woulde chad her by the face, choulde cracke her callet 
Cl'owne ! 
Gammer. A Hodg, Hodg, where was thy help, when fixen had me 
downe ? 
Hodge. By the masse, Gammer, but for my staffe Chat had gone 
nye to spyl you ! 
Ich think the harlot had not cared, and chad not com, to kill 
FOl-l. 
But shall we loose our neele thus ? 
Gammer. No Hodge chwarde « lothe doo soo, 55 
Thinkest thou chill take that at her hand ? no, Hodg, icb tell 
the no [ 
Hodge. Chold yet this fray wer wel take up, and our neele at 
home. 
Twill be my chaunce else some to kil, wher ever it be o 
whome ! 
I Ed. 1575 pray. 2 Probabl)" a misprint for « chware»" I would be. 



sc. mi Gammer Gurtons ]Ved/e z3 5 

Gammer. We have a parson, Hodge, thou knoes, a man estemed wise, 
Mast Doctor Rat; chil for hym send, and let me here his 
advise. 60 
He will ber shrive for all this gere, and geve her penaunce strait ; 
Wese 1 bave out neele, els Dame Chat cornes nere within 
heaven gate. 
Hodge. Ye, mary, Gammer, that ich think best; wyll you now for 
him send? 
The sooner Doctor Rat be here, the soner wese ha an ende, 
And here, Gammer ! Dvccons devill, as iche remember well, 65 
Of cat, and Chat, andDoctor Rat, a felloneus tale dyd tell. 
Chold you forty pound, that is the way your neele to get againe. 
Gammer. Chil ha him strait! Call out the boy, wese make him 
take the payn. 
Hadge. What, Ca Ici ke, I saye ! came out ! Vhat devill ! canst 
hot here ? 
C«he. How now, Hodg ? how does Gammer, is yet the wether 
cleare .; 7 ° 
What wold chave z me to da ? 
Gammer. Came hether Cocke anon 
Hence swythe a to Doctor Rat hye the that thou were gone, 
And pray hym came speke with me, cham hot well at ease. 
Shalt bave him at his chambeq or els at Mother Bees; 
Els seeke him at Hob Fylchers shop for as charde it re- 
ported, 75 
There is the best ale in al the towne, and now is toast resorted. 
Cache. And shall ich brynge hym with me, Gammer 
Gammer. Yea, by and by, good Cocke. 
C«he. Shalt see that shal be here anone, els let me bave on the 
docke. 4 
Hadge. Now, Gammer, shall we two go in, and tary for hys com- 
mynge ? 
What devill, woman ! plucke up your hart, and leve of al this 
glomming. 5 80 
1 we shall. 
 Cha'o« is either a blunder ofthe author's in the use of dialect, ora mlsprlnt for «thave" -" 
thou bave. a quickly. 4 rail, hackside. 
6 sulking (compare glum, and R. R. D., I. i. 



0-36 Gammer Gurtons Nedle [^c. ,. 

Though she were stronger at the first, as ich thinke ye did find 
ber, 
Yet there ye drest the dronken sow, what time ye cam behind 
her. 
Gammer. Nay, nay, cham sure she lost not ail, for, set thend to 
the beginning, 
And ich doubt not but she will make ¢nall bost of ber winning. 

The iii Acte. The iiii Sceane. 

TY. Hotç. G,XMMER. COCKE. 

Tyb. Se, Gammer, Gammer, Gib, our cat, cham afraid what she 
ayleth ; 
She standes me gasping behind the doore, as though her winde 
her faileth : 
Now let ich doubt what Gib shuld mean, that now she doth 
so dote. 
Hodge. Hold hether! I chould twenty pound, your neele is in ber 
throte. 
Grope her, ich say, me thinkes ich feele it ; does hOt pricke 
vour hand ? 5 
Gammer. lch can feele nothing. 
Hodge. No, ich know thars not within this land 
A murvner cat then Gvb is, betwixt the Teins and Tyne ; 
Shase as much wvt in fier head almost as chave in mine! 
Tyb. Faith, shase eaten some thing, that will not easily downe; 
Vhether she gat it at home, or abrode in the towne to 
Ich can not tell. 
Gammer. Alas ich feare it be some croked pyn! 
And then farewell Gyb! she is undone, and lost al save the 
skvn ! 
Hodge. Tvs "I your neele, woman, I say ! Gogs soule ! geve me a 
knyfe, 
And chil have it out  of her mawe, or els chai lose taï lyfe ! 



»« m] Gammer Gurtons _edle -37 

Gammer. What ! nay, Hodg, fy! Kil hOt our cat, tis al the cats 
we ha now. I5 
Hodge. By the masse, Dame Chat hays me so moved,  iche care 
not what I kyll, ma 9. God a vowe! 
Go to, then, Tyb, to this geare! holde up bar tayle and take 
ber ! 
Chil see what devil is in ber guts ! chil take the paines to rake 
ber ! 
Gammer. Rake a car, Hodge! what woldst thou do ? 
Hodge. ,Vhat, thinckst that cham hot able ? 
Did hot Tom Tankard rake his curtal toorea day standing in 
the stable ? 20 
Gammer. Soft! be content, lets here what newes Cocke bringeth 
from Maist Rat. 
Cocke. Gammer, chave ben ther as you bad, you wot wel about 
what. 
Twill hOt be long before he come, ich durst sweare of a 
booke. 
He byds you see ye be at home, and there for him to 
looke. 
Gammer. Where didst thou find him, boy ? was he hOt wher I told 
thee ? 2 5 
Cocke. Yes, yes, even at Hob Filchers house, by him that bought 
and solde me! 
A cup of aie had in his hand, and a crab lay in the fyer; 
Chad much ado to go and corne, al was so fui of rayer. 
And, Gammer, one thing I can tel, Hob Filchers naule was 
loste, 
And Doctor Rat round it againe, hard beside the doore 
poste. 30 
I chould a penny can sa), something your neele againe to 
set 
Gammer. Cham glad to heare so much, Cocke, then trust he wil 
hot let 
To helpe us herein best he can; therfore t),l time he corne 
Let us go in ; if there be ought to get thou shalt have some. 
 Ed. 575 mo,d.  (I) make  t'other, the othtr. 



3 8 Gammer Gurtons JVedle 

The iiii Acte. The i Sceane. ! 

D 

Doc-ro tGa'. G GvRa'or. 

D. Rat. A man were better twenty times be a bandog and barke, 
Then here among such a sort be parish priest or clarke, 
XVhere he shall never be at test one pissing while a day, 
But he must trudge about the towne, this way and that way ; 
Here to a drab, there to a theefe, his shoes to teare and rent, 5 
And that which is worst of al, at every knaves commaunde- 
ment ! 
I had not sit the space to drinke two pots of aie, 
But Gammer Gurtons sory boy was straite way at my talle, 
And she was sicke, and I must corne, to do I wot not what! 
If once her fingers end but ake, trudge ! call for Doctor Rat ! o 
And when I corne not at their call, I only therby loose; 
For I ara sure to lacke therfore a tythe pyg or a goose. 
I warrant you, when truth is knowen, and told they have their 
tale, 
The matter where about I corne is not worth a halfpeny worth 
of aie ; 
Yet must I talke so sage and smothe, as though I were a 
glosier 15 
Els, or the yere come at an end, I shal be sure the loser. 
Vhat worke ye, Gammer Gurton ? hoow ? here is your frend 
M [ast] Rat. 
Gammer. A! good M[ast] Doctor! cha trobled, cha trobled you, 
chwot wel that! 
D. Rat. How do ye, woman ? be ye lustie, or be ye not well at ease ? 
Gammer. By gys, Master cham not sick, but yet chave a disease.  2o 
Chad a foule turne now of late, chill tell it you, by gigs ! 
D. Rat. Hath your browne cow cast hir calfe, or your sandy sowe 
ber pigs ? 
Gammer. No, but chad ben as good they had as this, ich wot weel. 
D. Rat. What is the marrer ? 
Gammer. Alas, alas! cha lost my good neele! 
ll. 1575 Tbe ii lce. Tbe iiii Sceane.  anJet. 



sc. ,] Gammer Gurtons ]Vedle 239 

My neele, I say, and wot ye what, a drab came hy and spied 
it, 25 
And when I asked hir for the saine, the filth flatl), denied 
D. Rat. vrhat was she that ? 
Gammer. A dame, ich warrant )'ou! She be- 
gan to scold and brawle 
Alas, alas ! Corne hether, Hodge ! this wr [e] tche can tell you 
all. 

The iiii. Acte. The ii Sceane.  

HODCE. DOCTOR RAT. GAMMER. DICCON. CHAT. 

Hodge. God morow, Gaffer Vicar. 
D. Rat. Come on, fellow, let us heare! 
Thy dame hath sayd to me, thou knowest of ail this geare; 
Lets see what thou canst sale. 
Hodge. Bym fay, sir, that ve shall. 
What matter so ever there was done, ich can tell your maship 
[a] : 
My Gammer Gurton heare, see now, S 
sat ber downe at this doore, see now ; 
And, as she began to stirre ber, see now, 
her neele fell to the flOOl'e, see now ; 
And while her staffe shee tooke, see now, 
at Gyb ber car to flynge, see now, lo 
Her neele was lost in the floore, see now. 
Is not this a wondrous thing, see nov ? 
Then came the queane Dame Chat, see now 
to aske for hir blacke cup, see now: 
And even here at this gate, see now, l 5 
she tooke that neele up, see now : 
My Gammer then she yeede, 2 see now, 
her neele againe to bring, see now, 
1 In Colwell's edition this scene extends to the end of the act. There shouid probably be a 
division after line 63 and again after line lO 5 (as in Professor Manly's edition), but we hav 
retained the original arrangement.  went. 



z4 o Gammer Gurtons Ved/e L^c. ,, 

And was caught by the head, see now. 
Is not this a wondrous thing, see now ? 
She tare my Gammers cote, see now, 
and scratched hir by the face, see now ; 
Chad thought shad stopt hir throte, see now. 
Is not this a wondrous case, see now ? 
Vhen ich saw this, ich was 'rothe, 1 see now, 
and start betwene them twaine» see now ; 
Els ich durst take a booke othe, see now, 
my gammer had bene slaine» see now. 

25 

Gammer. This is even the whole matter, as Hodge has plainly tolde 
And chould faine be quiet for my part, that chould. 3 o 
But help us, good Master, beseech ye that ye doo: 
Els shall we both be beaten and lose our neele too. 
D. Rat. XVhat wold ye have me to doo ? tel me, that I were gone; 
I will do the best that I can, to set you both atone. 
But be ye sure Dame Chat hath this your neele founde ? 35 
Gammer. Here cornes the man that see hir take it up of the ground. 
Aske him your selfe, Master Rat, if ye beleve not me: 
And help me to my neele, for Gods sake and Saint Charitie ! 
D. Rat. Corne nere, Diccon, and let us heare what thou can 
expresse. 
Vilt thou be sworne thou seest Dame Cat this womans 
neele have ? 40 
Dicton. Nay, by S. Benit, wil I not, then might ye thinke me rave 
Gammer. XVhy, didst not thou tel me so even here? canst thou 
for shame deny it ? 
Dicton. I, mary, Gammer; but I said I would not abide by it. 
D. Rat. XVill you say a thing, and not sticke toit to trie it ? 
Dicton. "Stick toit," quoth you, Master Rat ? mary» sir, I defy 
it! 45 
Nay» there is man), an honest man» when he suche blastes 
bath blowne 
In his freindes eares» he woulde be loth the same by him were 
knowneo 

1 Ed. x575, oortbe. 



sc. ,,] Gammer Gurtons iVedle z4 

If such a toy be used oft among the honestie, 
It mav beseme a simple man of ,cour and my degree. 
D. Rat. hen we be never the nearer, for ail that you can tell ! 5o 
Di«on. Yea, mary, sir, if ye will do bv mine advise and counsaile. 
If Mother Cat se al us here, she knoweth how the matter 
goes » 
Therfore I red vou three go hence, and within keepe close, 
And I will into Dame Cats bouse, and so the matter use, 
That or I you cold go twise to church I warant you here 
news. 55 
She shall look wel about hir, but, I durst lay a pledge, 
Ye shal of Gammers neele have shortlv better knowledge. 
Gammer. Now, gentle Diccon, do so, and, good sir, let us trudge. 
D. Rat. By the masse, I mavhot tarrvso long to be your judge. 
Diccon. Tys but a little while man ; what ! take so much paine ! 60 
If I here no newes of it, I wil corne sooner agame. 
Hodge. Tarvso much, good Master Doctor, of vour gentlenes ! 
D. Rat. Tlen let us hie us inward, and, Diccon,'speede thy busines. 
Diccon.  Now, sirs, do ,,,ou no more, but kepe mv counsaile .juste, 
And Doctor Rat shall thus catch some goocJ, I trust. 6 5 
But Mother Chat, mv gossop, talke first with-all I must: 
For she must be chiefe captaine to lav the Rat in the dust. 
God deven, dame Chat, in faith, andwel met in this place! 
Chat. God deven, my friend Diccon ; whetber walke ye this pace ? 
Diccon. Bv my truth, even to you, to learne how the world goeth. 7 ° 
Hard ye no more of the other marrer ? say me, now, by your 
troth ! 
Chat. 0 yes, Diccon, here the old hoore, and Hodge, that great 
knave  
But, in faith, I would thou hadst sene,O Lord, I drest 
them brave ! 
She bare me two or three souses behind in the nape of the 
necke, 
Till [ ruade hir olde wesen to answere againe, « kecke [ " 
And Hodge, that dirty dastard, that at hir elbow standes, 
If one pair of legs had hot bene worth two paire of hands, 
1 er% before, u M. begins a new scene here ; H. says it should begin at line 68. 



z4z Gammer Gurtons _]Vedle [,,cr. m, 

He had had his bearde shaven if my nayles wold bave served 
And not without a cause, for the knave it well deserved. 
Dicton. By the masse, I can the thank, wench, thou didst so wel 
acquite the ! 80 
Chat. And thadst seene him, Diccon, it wold have made the beshite 
the 
For laughter. The horsen doit at last caught up a club, 
As though he would bave daine the master devil Belsabub. 
But I set him soone inwarde. 
Diccon. O Lorde, there is the thing 
That Hodge is so offended ! that makes him start and flyng! 85 
Chat. ,Vhy ? makes the knave any moyling, as ye have seen or 
hard ? 
Dicton. Even now I sawe him last, like a mad man he farde, 
And sware by heven and hell he would awreake his sorowe, 
And leve you never a hen on lire, by eight of the clock to 
morow ; 
Therfore marke what I say, and my wordes see that ye 
trust. 9 ° 
Your hens be as good as dead, if ye leave them on the ruste. 
Chat. The knave dare as well go bang himself, as go upon my 
ground. 
Dicton, .Vel, yet take hede I say, I must tel you my tale round. 
Have vou not about your bouse, behind your furnace or leade ] 
A holé where a crafty knave may crepe in for neade ? 9-ç 
Chat. Yes, bv the masse, a hole broke down, even within these two 
daves. 
Dicton. Hodge he intends this same night to slip in there awayes. 
Chat. 0 Christ [ that I were sure of it [ in faith he shuld bave his 
mede [ 
Dicton. XVatch wel, for the knave wil be there as sure as is your 
crede. 
I wold spend my selle a shilling to have him swinged well. IOO 
Chat. I ara as glad as a woman can be of this thing to here tell. 
By Gogs bones, when he commeth, now that I know the matter, 
He shal sure at the first skip to leape in scalding water, 
I Brewing troush. 



sc. q Gammer Gurtons JVedle 243 

With a worse turne besides; when he will, let him corne. 
2Diccon. I tell you as my sister ; you know what meaneth " mure " ! 
1 Now lacke I but my doctor to play his part againe. o6 
And 1o where he commeth towards, peradventure to his paine ! 
D. Rat. What good newes, Diccon, fellow ? is Mother Chat at 
home ? 
Diccan. She is, syr, and she is hot, but it please ber to whome; 
Yet did I take her tardy, as subtle as she was.  10 
D. Rat. The thing that thou wentst for, hast thou brought it to 
passe ? 
2Diccon. I have done that I have done, be it worse, be it better, 
And Dame Chat at ber wyts ende I bave almost set ber. 
2D. Rat. Why, hast thou spied the neele ? quickly, I pray thee, tell ! 
Diccon. I have spyed it, in faith, sir, I handled my selfe so well ; I t 5 
And yet the crafty queane had almost take my trumpe. 
But or all came to an ende, I set her in a dumpe. 
D. Rat. How so, I pray thee, Diccon ? 
Dicton. Mary, syr, will ye heare ? 
She was clapt downe on the backside, by Cocks mother dere, 
And there she sat sewing a halter or a bande,  2o 
With no other thing save Gammers nedle in ber hande. 
As soone as any knocke, if the filth be in doubte, 
She needes but once puffe, and her candle is out : 
Now I, sir, knowing of every doore the pin, 
Came nycely, and said no worde, till rime I was within; 12 5 
And there I sawe the neele, even with these two eyes ; 
Who ever say the contrary, I will sweare he lyes. 
D. Rat. 0 Diccon, that I was hot there then in thy steade! 
Diccan. Well, if ye will be ordred, and do by me reade, 
I will bring you to a place, as the house standes, 13 ° 
V¢here ye shall take the drab with the neele in hir bandes. 
D. Rat. For Gods sake do so, Diccon, and I will gage my gowne 
To geve thee a full pot of the best aie in the towne. 
Dicton. Follow me but a litle, and marke what I will say ; 
Lay downe your gown beside you; go to, corne on your 
way ! 35 
1 M. beglns a new scene here. 



z44 Gammer Gurtons iVedle [^c. Illl. SC;, Il] 

Se ye not what is here ? a hole wherin ye mav creepe 
Into the house, and sodenly unwares among hem leape ; 
There shal ye finde the bitchfox and the neele together. 
Do as I bid you, man, corne on your wayes hether ! 
D. Rat. Art thou sure, Diccon, the swil-tub standes not here 
aboute ? 14.0 
Diccon. I was within my seife, man, even now, there is no doubt. 
Go softly, make no noyse; give me your foote, Sir John. 
Here will I waite upon you, tri vou corne out anone. 
D. Rat. Helpe, Diccon! out, alas[  shal be slaine among them[ 
Diccon. If they give you not the nedle, tel them that ye will hang 
them. 45 
,Vare that ! Hoow mv wenches ! bave ye caught the Foxe 
That used to make revel among your hennes an Cocks ? 
Save his life vet for his order, though he susteine some paine. 
Gogs bread ! I ara afraide they wil beate out his braine. 
D. Rat. "Vo worth the houre that I came heare! i5o 
And wo worth him that wrought this geare ! 
A sort of drabs and queanes bave me blest-- 
XVas ever creature halle so evili drest ? 
,Vho ever it wrought, and first did invent it 
He shall, I warrant him, erre long repent it! I.. 
I will spend ail I have ,¥ithout mv skinne Diii 
But he shall be brought to the plight I am in ! 
Master Bayly, I trow, and he be worth his eares, 
,Vill snaffle these murderers and ail that them beares3 
I will surelv neither byte nor suppe I6o 
Till I fetcl him hether, this matter to take up. 
I H. inserts  oltb" before « them." But « beares" means  support ! uphold.' 



[^cT. v. s«.q Gammer Gurtons ]Vedle z45 

The v. Acte. The i. Sceane. 

MAST£R BAYLY. DOCTOR RAT. 

Bayly. I can perceive none other, I speke it from my hart, 
But either ye ar in al the fault, or els in the greatest part. 
D. Rat. If it be counted his fault, besides ail his greeves, 
,Vhen a poore man is spoyled and beaten among theeves, 
Then I confess mv fault herein, at this season ; 5 
But I hope you wll hot judge so much against reason. 
Bayly. And, me thinkes, by your owne tale, of ail that ye naine, 
If anv plaid the theefe, you were the very saine. 
The women they did nothing, as your words make probation, 
But stoutly withstood your forcible invasion. 
If that a theefe at your window to enter should begin, 
XVold vou hold forth your hand and helpe to pull him in 
Or you wold kepe him out ? I pray you answere me. 
D. Rat. Mary, kepe him out, and a good cause whv 
But I am no theefe, sir, but an honest learned :larke. t 5 
Bay/y. Yea, but who knoweth that, when he meets vou in the darke 
I ara sure your learning shines not out at your nose! 
XVas it any marvaile though the poore woman arose 
And start up, being afraide of that was in hir purse ? 
Me thinke you mav be glad that you [ri lucke was no worse. 20 
D. Rat. Is hOt this evill ynough, I pray you, as you thinke 
( 8bowing bis broken head.) 
Bayly. Yea, but a man in the darke, if 1 chaunces do wincke, 
As soone he smites his father as any other man, 
Because for iacke of light discerne him he ne can. 
Might it hot have ben your lucke with a spit to have ben 
slaine ? 
D. Rat. I think I am litle better, my scalpe is cloven to the braine. 
If there be ail the remedy, I know who beares the k [n]ockes. 
Bayly. By my troth, and well worthy besides to kisse the stockes! 
I printed of, ed. 57S- 



0-46 Gammer Gurtons 2Vedle [^cT. v 

To come in on the backe side, when ye might go about[ 
I know non such, unles they long to have their braines knockt 
out. 3 ° 
D. Rat. Well, wil you be so good, sir, as talke with Dame Chat, 
And know what she intended ? I aske no more but that. 
Bayly. Let ber be called, fellow, 1 because of Master Doctor, 
I warrant in this case she wil be hir owne proctor ; 
She will tel hir owne tale in metter or in prose, 35 
And byd you seeke your remedy, and so go wype your nose. 

The v. Acte. The ii Sceane. 

M. Bawr. CHar. D. RaT. GaMMER. Hoo. D1ccor. 

Bayly. Dame Chat, Master Doctor upon you here complained 
That you and your maides shuld him much misorder, 
And taketh many an oth, that no word he fained, 
Laying to your charge, how you thought him to murder 
And on his part againe, that same man saith furder 5 
He never offended you in word nor intent. 
To heare you answer hereto, we bave now for you sent. 
Chat. That I wold bave murdered him ? fye on him, wretch, 
And evil mought he thee 2 for it, our Lord I beseech. 
I will swere on al the bookes that opens and shuttes, 
He faineth this tale out of his owne guttes ; 
For this seven weekes with me I am sure he sat hot downe. 
Nay, ye have other minions, in the other end of the towne, 
Where ye were liker to catch such a blow, 
Then any where els, as farre as I know! 
Bayly. Belike, then, Master Doctor, yon a stripe there ye got not[ 
D. Rat. Thinke you I ara so mad that where I was ber I wot not ? 
Wil ye beleve this queane, before she bath tryd it ? 
It is not the first dede she bath done, and afterward denide it. 
I This is raid to Scapethryft, who is nowhere mentioned in the text. ' Fellow" (equivalent 
to « comrade" ) was originally a courteous mode of addressing a sertant like the French mon ami. 
 I11 rnay he thrive ; the phrase is common in the fourteenth century. Cf. also "y-the" 
Hickscorner» 1. 8 7. S Ed. 575you. 



SC. 1I] Gammer Gurtons _/Vedle 242 

Chat. What, man, will you say I broke you[r] heade ? 20 
D. Rat. How canst thou prove the contrary ? 
Chat. Nay, how provest thou that I did the deade ? 
D. Rat. To plainly, by S. Mary, 
This profe I trow may serve, though I no word spoke ! 
( Shozoing his broen head. ) 
Chat. Bicause thy head is broken, was it I that it broke ? 2 
I saw thee Rat, I tel thee, hot once within this fortnight. 
D. Rat. No mary, thou sawest me hot, for why thou hadst no light 
But I felt thee for al the darke, beshrew thy smothe cheekes ! 
And thou groped me t this wil declare any day this six weekes. 
( Sbowing bis beade.) 
Bayly. Answere me to this, M[ast] Rat: when caught you this 
harme of yours ? 3 ° 
D. Rat. A while ago, sir, God he knoweth, within les then these 
two houres. 
Bayly. Dame Chat, was there none with you (confesse, i-faith) 
about that season ? 
What, woman . let it be what it wil, tis neither felony nor 
treason. 
Chat. Yea by my faith, toaster Bayly, there was a knave hOt farre 
Who caught one good philup on the brow with a dore barre, 35 
And well was he worthy, as it semed to mee; 
But what is that to this man, since this was not hee ? 
Bayly. Vho was it then ? Lets here [ 
D. Rat. Alas sir aske you that . 
ls it hot ruade plain inough by the owne mouth of Dame Chat 
The time agreeth, my head is broken, her tong can hot lye, 4-0 
Onely upon a bare nay she saith it was hot I. 
Chat. No, mary, was it hOt indeede ! ye shal here by this one thing 
This after noone a frend of mine for good wil gave me warning 
And bade me wel loke to my ruste,  and al my capons pennes, 
For if I toke not better heede a knave wold have my 
hennes. 45 
1 



z48 Gammer Gurtons Nedle [Ac. v 

Then I, to save my goods, toke so much pains as him to watch ; 
And as good fortune served me, it was my chaunce hym for to 
catch. 
,Vhat strokes he bare away, or other what was his gaines, 
I wot not, but sure I am he had something for his paines! 
Bayly. Yet telles thou hOt who it was. 
Chat. Vho it was ? a false theefe, 5o 
Tbat came like a false foxe m)' pullaine 1 to kil a»d mischeefe ! 
Badv. But knowest thou hot his naine ? 
Chat. I know it ; but what than ? 
It was that crafty cullvon Hodge, my Gammer Gurtons man. 
Bayly. Cal me the knave hether, he shal sure kvsse the stockes. 
I shall teach him a lesson for filching bens or cocks ! 55 
D. Rat. I marvaile, Master Bayly, so bleared be )out eyes; 
An egge is hot so fui of meate, as she is fui of l,ces: 
Vhen she hath playd this pranke, to excuse al this geare, 
She laveth the fault in such a one, as I know was hOt there. 
Chat. XVas he hot thear ? loke on his pare, that shal be his witnes ! 60 
D. Rat. I wold mv head were hall so hole ; I wold seeke no redresse ! 
Ba,.ly. God blesse you, Gammer Gurton ! 
Gammer. God dylde .vou,  toaster mine! 
Bayly. Thou hast a knave within thy bouse  Hodge, a servant of 
tbine ; 
They tel me that busy knave is such a filching one, 
That hen, pig, goose or capon, thv neighbour tan have none. 65 
Gammer. By God, cham much amevéd,  to heare any such reporte ! 
Hodge was hOt wont, ich trow, to bave  him in that sort. 
Chat. A theevisher knave is hOt on lire, more filching, nor more 
false ; 
lklany a truer man then he hase hanged up by the halse;  
And tbou, his dame,of al his tbeft thou art the sole 
receaver ; 6 70 
For Hodge to catch, and thou to kepe, I never knew none 
better ! 
a poultry. 
u God yield )'ou, God reg'ard )'ou. Compare Good den, God deaen _ good c'en. 
 moved, disturbed.  behave.  neck. 
6 Perhaps we should read ' recetter,' for the sake of the rime. 



sc. ,,] Gammer Gurlons Aredle z49 

Gammer. Sir reverence 1 Of your masterdome, and you were out 
adooFe, 
Chold be so bolde, for al hir brags, to cal ber arrant whoore; 
And ich knew Hodge as bad as tow,  ich wish me endlesse 
SOFOW 
And chould not take the pains to hang hi m up before to 
morow [ 7 
Chat. gVhat have I stolne from the or thine, thou ilfavored olde trot 
Gammer. A great deale more, by Gods blest, then chevet by the got 
That thou knowest wel, I neade hOt say it. 
Bayly. Stoppe there, I say, 
And tel me here, I pray you, this matter bv the way, 
How chaunce Hodge is not here ? him wold'I faine bave had. 80 
Gammer. Alas, sir, heel be here anon; ha be handled to bad. 
Chat. Master Bayly, sir, ye be not such a foole, wel I know, 
But ye perceive by this lingring there is a pad a in the straw. 
( Thinking that Hodg his head mas broke, and that Gammer woM hot let him 
corne before tbem. ) 
Gammer. Chil shew you his face, ich warrant the; 1o now where 
he is ! 
Bayly. Corne on, fellow, it is tolde me thou art a shrew, iwysse : 8 
Thy neighbours hens thou takest, and playes the two legged foxe 
Their chickens and their capons to, and now and then their 
cocks. 
Hodge. Ich defy them al that dare it say, cham as true as the best 
Bayly. XVart hOt thou take within this houre in Dame Chats hens 
nest ? 
Hodge. Take there ? no, master; chold not dot for a bouse fui of 
gold ! 90 
Chat. Thou or the devil in thy cote--sweare this I dare be bold. 
D. Rat. Sweare me no swearing, quean, the devill he geve the 
SOl'OW ! 
Al is not worth a gnat thou canst sweare till to morow: 
1 saving your reverence.  as thou. 
a Toad ; the saine phrase occurs in Gosson, Elb«m«rides of Pbialo (Arber} 63, ' I bave 
ndther replyed to the writer of this libei . . . nor let him go scot free . . . but po)'nted to 
the strawe where the padd iurkes.'" 



25o Gammer Gurtons ]Veclle [ACT. 

,Vhere is the harme he hath ? shew it, bv Gods bread ! 
Ye beat him with a wimes, but the stripeslight on my head ! 95 
Hodge. Ber me ? Gogs blessed body, chold first, ich trow, bave 
burst the ! 
Ich thinke and chad my hands loose, callet, chould have crust 
the ! 
Chat. Thou shitten knave, I trow thou knowest the fui weight of 
my fist ; 
I am fowlv deceved onles thy head and my doore bar kyste. 
Hodge. Hoid thy chat, whore, thou criest so loude, can no man els 
be hard. IOO 
Chat. Vell, knave, and I had the alone, I wold surely rap thy 
costard [ 
Bayly. Sir, answer me to this : is thy head whole or broken ? 
Hodge.  Yea, Master Bayly, blest be every good token, 
Is mv head whole! Ich warrant you, tis neither scurvy nor 
"scald ! 
What, vou foule beast, does think tis either pild or bald ? lO 5 
Nay, ich thanke God, chil hOt for al that thou maist spend 
That chad one scab on my narse as brode as thy fingers 
elld. 
Bayly. Corne nearer heare! 
Hodge. Yes, that I dare. 
Bay/y. By our Lady, here is no harme, 
Hodges head is whole ynough, for ai Dame Chats charme. 
Chat. By Gogs blest, hou ever the thing he clockes or smolders,  I IO 
I know the blowes he bare away, either with head or shoul- 
ders. 
Camest thou hOt, knave, within this houre, creping into my 
pens, 
And there was caught within my hous groping among my 
hens ? 
Hodge. A plage both on the hens & the! A carte, whore, a 
carte ! 
Chould I were hanged as hie as a tree and chware as false as 
thou art ! I I. 
I Ed. i7 glves this line to Chat.  cloaks or smother. 



sc.,,] Gammer Gurtons Arecl/e 
Geve my gammer again her washical 1 thou stole away in thy 
lap ! 
Gammer. Yea Maister Baily, there is a thing },ou know hot on, 
mayhap ; 
This drab she kepes away my good, the devil he miht ber 
saroE  
lch pray you that ich might have a riffht action on ber [fare]. 
Chat. Have I thy good, old filth, or any such old sowes ?  o 
I ara as true, I wold thou knew, as skin betwene thy browes [ 
Gammer. Many a truer hath ben hanged, though you escape the 
daunger [ 
Chat. Thou shalt answer, by Gods pity, for this thy fouie slaunder  
Bayly. çVhy, what can ye charge hir withal ? To say so ye do hOt 
well. 
Gammer. Mary, a vengeance to hir hart the whore hase stoln my 
neele   5 
Chat. Thy nedle old witch ? how so ? it were aimes thy scul to 
knock  
So didst thou say the other day that I had stolne thy cock, 
And rosted him to my breakfast, which shal hOt be forgotten ; 
The devil pul out thy lying tong and teeth that be so rotten  
Gammer. Geve me my neele[ As for my cock, chould be verv 
loth  3 o 
That chuld here tel he shuld bang on thy false faith and 
troth. 
Bay. Your talke is such, I can scarce learne who shuld be most 
in fault. 
Gammer. Yet shall be find no other wight, save she, by bred and 
sait  
Barly. Kepe ye content a while, se that your ronges ye holde. 
Me thinkes you shuld remembre this is no place to scolde. 35 
How knowest thou, Gammer Gurton, Dame Chat thy nedle 
had ? 
Gammer. To naine you, sir, the party, chould hot be very glad. 
Bly. Yea, but we must nedes heare it, and therfore say it boldly. 
Gammer. Such one as told the tale full soberly and coldly, 
1 what shaB I çaB {it). Compare *« nicebeetur,'" R. D. I. iv. a. 



z5z Gammer Gurtons 2Vedle [^cr.  

Even he that loked on--wil sweare on a booke-- I4O 
What time this drunken gossip my faire long neele up tooke, 
Diccon, master, the Bedlam, cham very sure ye know him. 
Bayly. A false knave, by Gods pitie ! ye were but a foole to trow him. 
I durst aventure wel the price of my best cap, 
That when the end is knowen, ail will turne to a jape. I45 
Tolde he not you that besides she stole your cocke that tyde ? 
Gammer. No, master, no indede; for then he shuld have lyed. 
My cocke is, I thanke Christ, safe and wel a fine. 
Chat. Yea, but that ragged colt, that whore, that Tyb of thine, 
Said plainly thy cocke was stolne, and in my house was 
eaten.  5 ° 
That lying cut  is lost that she is hot swinged and beaten, 
And yet for al my good naine, it were a small amendes[ 
I picke hOt this geare, hearst thou, out of my fingers endes ; 
But he that hard it told me, who thou of late didst name, 
Diccon, whom al men knowes, it was the very same. 
Bayly. This is the case: you lost your nedle about the dores, 
And she answeres againe, she hase no cocke of yours ; 
Thus in you [ri talke and action, from that you do intend, 
She is whole rive mile wide, from that she doth defend. 
Vill you say she hath your cocke ? 
Gammer. No, mary,  sir, that chil not,  60 
Bay/y. ,Vill you confesse hir neele ? 
Chat. Vill I ? No sir, will I not. 
Bayly. Then there lieth ail the matter, 
Gammer. Sort, master, by the way ! 
Ye know she could do litle, and she cold hot say nay. 
Bayly. Yea, but he that made one lie about your cock stealing, 
Wil not sticke to make another, what time lies be in deal- 
ing. 6 5 
I wene the ende wil prove this brawle did first arise ii 
Upon no other ground but only Diccons lyes. 
Chat. Though some be lyes, as you belike have espyed them, 
Yet other some be true, by proof I have wel tryed them. 
I « cut ' is ofien used in the sixteenth centur as a terre of abuse, especially tbr women. 
 Printed mer.. 



sc. ] Gammer Gurtons Aredle 253 

Bayly. What other thing beside this, Dame Chat ? 
Chat. Marv syr, even this. 7o 
The tale I tolde before, the selfe saine tale it was his; 
He gave me, like a frende, warning against mv losse, 
Els had my hens be stolne eche one, by Gods'crosse! 
He tolde me Hodge wold corne, and in he came indeede, 
But as the matter chaunsed, with greater hast than speede. I75 
This truth was said, and true was found, as trulv I report. 
Bayly. If Doctor Rat be hot deceived, it was of another sort. 
D. Rat. By Gods mother, thou and he be a copie of suttle foxes [ 
Betweene you and Hodge, I beare away the boxes. 
Did hot Diccon apoynt the place, wher thou shuldst stand to 
mete him .  80 
Chat. Yes, by the masse, and if he came, bad me not sticke to 
speet  hym. 
D. Rat. Gods sacrament! the villain knave hath drest us round 
about ! 
He is the cause of ail this brawle that dyrty shitten loute ! 
When Gammer Gurton here complained, and made a rufui 
mone, 
I heard him sweare that you had gotten hir nedle that was 
gone ;  85 
And this to try, he furder said, he was fui loth ; how be it 
He was content with small adoe to bring me where to see it. 
And where ye sat, he said fui certain, if I wold folow his read, 
Into your house a privy way he wold me guide and leade, 
And where ye had it in your hands, sewing about a clowte, tgo 
And set me in the backe hole, therby to finde you out: 
And whiles I sought a quietnes, creping upon my knees, 
I found the weight of your dore bar for my reward and fees. 
Such is the lucke that some men gets, while they begin to mel 
In setting atone such as were out, minding to make al wel. 95 
Hodge. Vas hot wel blesr, Gammer, to scape that stoure ?2 And 
chad ben there, 
Then chad been drest,  be like, as iii, by the masse, as Gaflrar 
Vicar. 
! p]t.   toure' uproa- Printed oure. 8 served ouç donc for. 



-54 OEammer Gurtons _N'eclle [^cT. v 

layly. Mary, sir, here is a sport alone; I loked for such an end. 
If Diccon had not playd the knave, this had ben sone amen& 
My gammer here he made a foole, and drest hir as she was ; 2oo 
And Goodwife Chat he set to scole, till both partes cried alas ; 
And D [octor] Rat was hOt behind, whiles Chat his crown did 
pare. 
I wold the knave had ben starke blind, if Hodg had hot his 
share. 
Hodge. Cham meetly wel sped alredy amongs, cham drest lik a coult [ 
And chad hot had the better wit, chad bene ruade a doult. 2o 5 
Bayly. Sir knave, make hast Diccon were here, fetch him, where 
ever he bec! 
Chat. Fie on the villaine, fie, fie ! that makes us thus agree ! 
Gammer. Fie on him, knave, with al my hart! now fie! and fie 
againe ! 
D. Rat. Now « fie on him ! " may I best say, whom he bath almost 
slaine. 
JBayly. Lo where he commeth at hand, belike he was hot rare! 2zo 
Diccon, heare be two or three thv company can hot spare. 
Dicton. God blesse you, and you may be blest, so many al at once. 
Chat. Corne knave, it were a good deed to geld the, by Cockes bones ! 
Seest not thv handiwarke ? Sir Rat, tan ye forbeare him ? 
Dicton. A vengeance on those hands lire, for my hands cam not 
nere hym. 2  5 
The horsen priest hath lift the pot in some of these alewyves 
chayres 
That his head wolde not serve him, belyke, to come downe 
the stayres. 
Bayly. Nay, sort! thou maist not play the knave, and have this 
language to ! 
If thou thy tong bridle a while, the better maist thou do. 
Confesse the truth, as I shall aske, and cease a while to 
fable  2 2o 
And for thy fault I promise the thy handling shalbe reasonable. 
Hast tbou hot ruade a lie or two, to set these two bv the eares ? 
Dicton. What if I have ? rive hundred such have I seene within 
these seven yeares : 



sc. ,,] Gammer Gurtons 2Vectle z5 5 

I ara sory for nothing else but that I see hOt the sport 
Which was betwene them whên they met, as they them selves 
report. 2 2 5 
Bayly. The greatest thing-- Master Rat, ,ve se how he is drest ! 
Diccon. What devil nede he be groping so depe, in Goodwife Chats 
hens nest ? 
Bayly. Yea, but it was th}' drift to bring him into the briars. 
Dicton. Gods bread! hath hOt such an old foole wit to save his 
eares ? 
He showeth himselfe herein, }'e see, so very a coxe, 230 
The car was hOt so madl}' alured by the foxe 
To run into the snares was set for him, doubtlesse ; 
For he leapt in for myce, and this Sir John for madnes. 
D. Rat. Vell, and }'e shift no better, ye losel, lyther, and las}'e, 
I will go neare for this to make ye leape at a dasve. 1 235 
In the kings name, Master Bayl}', I charge you set him fast. 
Dicton. "vVhat, faste at cardes, or fast on slepe ? it is the thing I 
did last. 
D. Rat. Na}', fast in fetters, false varlet, according to thy deedes. 
Bayly. Master Doctor, ther is no remedy, I must intreat you needes 
Some other kinde of punishment. Eiii 
D. Rat. Nay by ail halowes 240 
His punishment if I ma}, judg» shal be naught els but the 
gallous. 
Bayly. That ware to sore, a spiritual man tobe so extreame! 
D. Rat. Is he worthy any better, sir ? how do ye judge and deame ? 
Bayly. I graunt him wortlh]ie punishment, but in no wise so great. 
Gammer. It is a shame, ich tel you plaine, for such false knaves 
intreat ! 245 
He has almost undone us al--that is as true as steele,-- 
And },et for al this great ado cham never the nere mv neele ! 
Bayly. Canst thou hOt say any thing to that, Diccon, with least or 
most .P 
Dicton. Yea, mar},, sir, this much I can sa}, wel, the nedle is lost. 
1 to leap at a daisy,' tobe hanged. The alluslon is to a story of a man who, when the 
noo was adjusted round his neck leapt off with the words» «' Have at yon dalsy yonder "' 
( Pauil' ¢sts» 1604). 



• 56 Gammer Gurtons redle [^cT. v 

Bayly. Nay, canst not thou tel which way that nedle may be 
round ? 25o 
Diccon. No, by my fay, sir, though I might have an hundred pound. 
Hodge. Thou lier, lickdish, didst hot say the neele wold be gitten ? 
Diccon. No, Hodge, by the same token, you were I that rime be- 
shitten 
For feare of Hobgobling-- you wot wel what I meane ; 
As long as it is sence, I feare me yet ye be scarce cleane. 255 
Bayly. Vel, Master Rat, you must both learne and teach us to 
forgeve. 
Since Diccon hath confession made, and is so cleane shreve, 
If ye to me conscent, to amend this heavie chaunce, 
I wil injoyne him here some open kind of penaunce, 
Of this condition (where ye know mv fee is twenty pence) : 26o 
For the bloodshed, I ara agreed wit you here to dispence; 
Ye shal go quite, so that ye graunt the matter now to run 
To end with mirth emong us al, even as it was begun. 
Chat. Say yea, Master Vicar, and he shall sure confes to be your detter, 
And al we that be heare present, wil love you much the 
better. 265 
D. Rat. My part is the worst; but since you al here on agree, 
Go even to, Master Bayly ! let it be so for mec! 
Bay. How saiest thou, Diccon ? art content this shal on me depend ? 
Diccon. Go to, M[ast] Bayly, say on your mind, I know ye are 
my frend. 
Bayly. Then marke ye wel: To recompence this thy former 
action,  7 o 
Because thou hast off'ended al, to make them satisfaction,- 
Belote their faces here kneele downe, and, as I shal the teach,  
For thou shalt take an  othe of Hodges leather breache : 
First, for Master Doctor, upon paine of his cursse, 
Vhere he wil pay for al, thou never draw thy purse ; 275 
And when ye meete at one pot he shall bave the first pull, 
And thou shalt never offer him the cup but it be full. 
To Goodwife that thou shalt be sworne, even on the same wyse 
If she refuse thy money once, never to offer it twise. 
1 Ed. 1575 obere.  Ed. 1575 on. 



gc. 1q Gammer Gurton Jredle z57 

Thou shalt be bound by the same, here as thou dost take 
it, 8o 
When thou rnaist drinke of free cost, thou never forsake it. 
For Garnmer Gurton's sake, againe sworne shalt thou bee, 
To helpe hir to hir nedle againe if it do fie in thee 
And iikewise be bound, by the vertue of that, 
To be of good abering to Gib her great cat. :285 
Last of al, for Hodge the othe to scanne, 
Thou shalt never take him for fine gentleman. 
Hodge. Corne, on, fellow Diccon, chai be even with thee now! 
Bayly. Thou wilt hOt sticke to do this, Diccon, I trow 
Dicton. Now, b, rn, fathers skin ! rn, hand downe I la, it ! :290 
Loke, as I have promised, I wil not dena, it. 
But» Hodge, take good heede now, thou do not beshite me! 
( ttnd gave bim a good blow on the buttocke.) 
Hodge. Gogs hart! thou false villaine, dost thou bite me 
Bayly. What, Hodge, doth he hurt thee or ever he begin 
Hodge. He thrust me into the buttocke with a bodkin or a pin ! :295 
I sale, Garnmer [ Garnrner [ 
Gammer. How now Hodge, how now 
Hodge. Gods rnalt, Gamrner Gurton! 
Gammer. Thou art mad, ich trow[ 
Hodge. Will )'ou see the devil, Garnrner ? 
Gammer. The devil, sonne! God blesse us! 
Hodge. Chould iche were hanged, Garnrner-- 
Gammer. Mary, se, ye might dresse us 
Hodge. Chave it, by the masse, Garrnmer! 
Gammer. lVhat ? not rn]t neele, Hodge ? 3oo 
Hodge. Your neele, Garrnrner[ 'our neele[ 
Gammer. No, fie, dost but dodge! 
Hodge. Cha round 'our neele, Gammer, here in rn- hand be it! 
Gammer. For al the loves on earth, Hodge, let me see 
Hodge. Sort, Garnrner [ 
Gammer. Good Hodge [ 
Hodge. Soft, ich sav; tarie a while! 
Gammer. Nay, sweete Hodge, say truth, and do hot me begile 
| 



58 Gammer Gurtons red]e [^c. . sc. q 

Hodge. Cham sure on it, ich warrant you ; it goes no more a stray. 
Gammer. Hodge, when I speake so faire; wilt stil say me nay ? 
Hodge. Go neare the light, Gammer, thismwel, in faith, good 
lucke !m 
Chwas almost undone, twas so far in my buttocke! 
Gammer. Tis min owne deare neele, Hodge, sykerly I wot! 31o 
Hodge. Cham I nota good sonne, Gammer, cham I not? 
Gammer. Christs blessing light on thee, hast made me for ever! 
Hodge. Ich knew that ich must finde it, els choud a had it never! 
Chat. By my troth, gossyp Gurton, I am even as glad 
As though I mine owne selfe as good a turne had! 315 
Bayly. And I, by mv concience, to see it so come forth, 
Rejoyce so mu:h at it as three nedles be worth. 
D. Rat. I am no whit sory to see you so rejoyce. 
Diccon. Nor I much the gladder for al this noyce; 
Yet say « gramercy, Diccon," for springing of the game. 320 
Gammer. Gramercy, Diccon, twenty times [ O how glad cham 
If that chould do so much, your masterdome to come hether, 
Master Rat, Goodwife Chat, and Diccon together, 
Cha but one halfpeny, as far as iche know it, 
And chil not rest this night till ich bestow it. 325 
If ever ye love me, let us go in and drinke. 
Bayly. I am content, if the rest thinke as I thinke. 
Master Rat, it shal be best for you if" we so doo; 
Then shall you warme you and dresse your self too. 
Diccon. Sort, syrs, take us with you, the company shal be the more 
As proude coms behinde, they say, as any goes belote ! 
But now, my good masters, since we must be gone 
And leave you behinde us here ail alone; 
Since at out last ending thus mery we bee, 
For Gammer Gurtons nedle sake, let us have a plaudytie! 
FINIS. GURTON. PERUSED AND ALOWED, 

lmprinted at London 
in Fleetestreate beneath the Conduite, 
at the signe of S. John Euangelist, b I 
Thomas ColweU 
x575. 



APPENDIX 

The song at the beginning of the second act exists in an older and better 
version, which was printed by Dyce (from a Ms. in his own possession) in 
his edifion of Skelton's lforksæ Vol. I, p. vii. It is hot likely that the date 
of the composition is much older than the middle of the sixteenth century, 
and it may possibly be later. The following copy is taken from Dyce, but 
the punctuation and the capitals have been adjusted in accordance with the 
rules elsewhere adopted in the present work. 

Backe and syde goo bare, goo bare ; 
Bothe hande and fore goo colde ; 
But, belly, God sende the good aie inoughe» 
Whether hyt be newe or olde. 

But yf that I maye have, trwly, 
Goode aie my belly full, 
I shall looke lyke one (by swete sainte Johnn) 
Were shoron agaynste the woole. 
Thowthe I goo bare, take ye no care, 
I ara nothynge colde. 
I stuffe my skynne so full within 
Ofjoly good ale and olde. 

I cannot eate but lytyll meate ; 
My stomacke ys hot goode ; 
But sure I thyncke that I cowde dryncke 
With hym that werythe an hoode. 
Dryncke ys my lyfe ; although my wyf¢ 
Some tyme do chyde and scolde, 
Yete spare I hot to plye the porte 
Of joly goode ale and olde. 
Backe and syde, etc. 



6o 4ppendix 

I love no roste but a bro,vne toste, 
Or a crabbe in the fyer ; 
A lytyll breade shall do me steade» 
Mooche breade I never desyer. 
Nor froste» nor snowe» nor wynde, I trow» 
Canne hutte me yf hyt wolde ; 
I am so ,vrapped within, and lapped 
With joly goode ale and olde. 
Backe and syde, etc. 

I care ryte noughte, I take no thowte 
For clothes to kepe me warme ; 
Have I goode dryncke, I surely thyncke 
Nothyng can do me harme. 
For trwly than I feare no man, 
Be he never so bolde, 
When I am armed, and throwly warmeà 
With joly good ale and olde. 
Backe and syde, etc. 

But no,ve and than I curse and banne ; 
They make ther ale so small ! 
God geve them care, and evill to fare ! 
They strye the malte and all. 
Soche pevisshe pe,ve, I tell yowe trwe, 
Not for a cro,vne of golde 
There commethe one syppe within my lyppe» 
Whether hyt be newe or olde. 
Backe and syde, etc. 

Good ale and stronge makethe me amonge 
Full joconde and full lyte, 
That ofte I slepe, and take no kepe 
From mornynge untyll nyte. 
Then starte I uppe, and fie to the cuppe ; 
The ryte waye on I holde. 
My thurste to staunche I fyll my paunche 
With joly goode ale and olde. 
Backe and syde, etc. 



Ippendix 6  

And Kytte, my wyfe, that as her lyfe 
Lovethe well good ale to seke, 
Full ofte drynkythe she that ye maye se 
The teares ronne downe ber cheke. 
Then dothe she troule to me the bolle 
As a goode malte-worme sholde, 
And say, "Swete harte, I bave take my parte 
Of joly goode aie and olde." 
Backe and syde, etc. 

They that do dryncke tylle they nodde and wynck¢, 
Even as good fellowes shulde do, 
They shall notre mysse to have the blysse 
That good ale hathe browghte them to. 
And ail poore soules that skoure blacke bolles, 
And them hath lustely trowlde, 
God save the lyves of them and ther 
Wether they be yonge or olde ! 
Backe and syde, etc. 



ALEXANDER AND CAMPASPE 

Edited witb Critical Essay and Note 
ky George P. Baker, g.B., gsst. 
Professor in Harvard University 



CRITICAL ESSAY 

IAfe. -- John Lïlï was born in Kent betveen October 8, 553, and 
January, .554-. He entered Magdalen College, Oxford, *ç69, but was 
almost immediatelï rusticated. Returning in October, , 57', he was gradu- 
ated B.A. April z7, *573. In May, *ç74, he wrote unsuccessfullï to 
Lord Burleigh, begging for a fellowship at Magdalen. He proceeded M.A. 
June ,, *575, and lived mainly at the Universities till *579- Eupbues, 
rb« ,4natomi« of IIGt, appeared between December,  78, and spring, 
Another edition was printed in 579 ; twelve others before 1637. In 
,¢JJr«ss to rb« Ge»tlem«» 8«bolars of OxforJ, prefixed to flae second, the 
 579, edition, he answered a charge of having unfairlï criticised Oxford in 
flac lnatomie of 14/'it. A sequel, Eupbues and his England, was licensed 
july z4, , 579, but did not appear for months. Probably Lyly shared in 
the disfavour which, from 1are July, . 579, to july, , 580, the ueen showed 
flae party of Robert Dudley because of his secret marriage wifla the Countess 
of Essex. Endimion, probably the first of Lyly's extant comedies, was pre- 
sented between late July and early November, 579, as an allegorical treat- 
ment of this quarrel. In or near July, . 580, Lyly was '" entertained as 
servant" by the ueen, and was advised to aim at flae Mastership of flae 
Revels. By July, 58z, he is to be round in flae household of Lord Bur- 
leigh. A letter of lais was prefixed to Watson's Passionate Centurie of Love, 
published ,58z. Bv*589, possibly earlier, he had become vice-master of 
St. Paul's choir school. Belote 584 the Chapel Children and the Paul's 
Boys, for whom he had written, ceased to act. During 584 lais 8apbo and 
Pbao, written not long afier February 6, * 58z, and his llexander and Cam- 
paspe were printed. Tityrus and Gallatbea, licensed in 584, was not 
printed till ,59 z. Probably the main plot was written before 584, and 
flae sub-plot for a revision of the play in or near * 588. From , 585 Lyly 
wrote for flae Paul's Boys till in or near *59*, when flae company was 
aLain silent. The Chapel Children were hot acting publicly between No- 
vember, ,584, and ,597. His Mydas was acted between /ugust, , 588, 
and November, *589, and printed in .59 z. In August or September, 
• 589, a pamphlet entitled Pappe-witb-an-Hatchet, written by him for the 
High Church party in flae Marprelate controvcsy, made its appearance. His 



z66 o]m L. 

Moter Bomble was acted in I589 or I59o , and prlnted in I594. Alex- 
ander and Carapaspe and 8apho and Phao were reprinted in  59 , and in the 
same year Endiraion was printed. Gallathea appeared in ]592. Lyly 
wrote, in 59 o or ] 59 , an apparently unsuccessful begging letter to the 
Queen, and another in 593 or ç94- He was married by ç89, and he 
had two sons and one daughter. He was member of Pafliament for Hin- 
don in  589 ; for Aylesbury in  593 and 6o ; and for Appleby in ] 597- 
The ll'oman in the Moone was licensed in ] 595, printed in ] 597- The 
quality of the blank verse in this play and the absence of marked Euphuism 
favour a date of composition in or near * 59 o. Lillie's Light was licensed 
June 3, * 596. If printed, itis non-extant. He wrote prefatory Latin 
lines for Henry Lock's Ecclesiastes, othervise called The Preacher, in ] 597- 
In ,597-6oo the Chapel Children revived his plays. The Maid's Meta- 
morphosis, incorrecdy attributed to Lyly, was printed in , 600. His Love's 
Metamorphosis was printed in ,6o* : it had been written about the rime of 
the Gallathea,--before 584, or between 588 and ]59 *. The Protea- 
Petulius part is probably from a different play, or is a survival in a revision. 
Lyly died November 30, 6o6, and was buried at St. Bartholomew's.  

The Place of Euphues in English Literature.- John Lyly was poet, 
pamphleteer, novelist, and dramatist. As a pamphleteer he is unim- 
portant. As a poet he can best be studied in his plays. It is, 
then, as novelist and dramatist that he is important. The material 
of the two parts of the Euphues makes it decidedly significant in its 
own time. It is hot, like most of the stories of Greene and Lodge, 
mere romance, nor, like Nash's ack IL'i/ton, a tale of adventure 
phrased with reportorial recklessness. Itis a love story in which 
romance is subordinated to the inculcation of ideas of high living 
and thinking, and the demands of an involved style. It dimly fore- 
shadows two literary products which reach a development only long 
after the days of Elizabeth--the novel with a purpose, and the 
stylistic novel. The appearance of the book was epochal. Young 
writers of the day--Munday, Greene, Nash, and Lodge--copied 
its style. Courtiers patterned their speech upon it. Yet Gabriel 
Harvey was probably right when he ill-naturedly wrote: " Young 
Euphues but hatched the egges that his elder freendes laide." The 
Anatomie, at least, is such a book as a recent university graduate of 
1 The Introduction to Endimion, Holt & C.o., carefully confiders the evidence for ail these 
ttement. 



the present day, well read in some of the classics, and especially 
susceptible to new literary influences and cults, might compile. In 
the division Euphues and His Epheebus Lyly uses, with a few omis- 
sions and additions, Plutarch on Education ; in the letter to Botonio 
he translates Plutarch on Exile. In the part Euphues and ,4tbeos he 
is indebted to chapters 9, lO 1I, and I. of the Dial of Princes 
(I5-9) by Antonio de Guevara, Bishop of Guadix and Mendoza. 
Euphues and Lucilla debate "dubii," or artificial discussions of set 
questions, such as one finds in Hortensio Lando or Castiglione. 
There is, too, almost constant use of the unnatural natural history 
of Pliny. Ail this material is bound together by a style which, 
though it may ultimately be traced to the rounded periods of 
Cicero, had developed slowly in writers of the Renaissance and the 
years just before Euphues appeared. George Pettie, for instance, 
in his Pettie Palace of Pettie His Pleasure, published in I576 , has 
ail the stylistic characteristics of the Euphues except the fabulous 
natural history. It is, however, to Guevara in the Dial of Princes 
that Lyly is thought to be particularly indebted for his style. This 
man used "lavishly the well-known figures of pointed antithesis 
and parisonic balanced clauses, in connection with a general climac- 
tic structure of the sentence or period, the emphatic or antithetic 
words being marked by rhyme or assonance." Lyly substitutes for 
rhyme alliteration, and adds persistent play on words. The book 
is genuinely Renaissance, then, for, looking to classic literature for 
much of its substance, it expresses itself in a style that typifies an 
intellectual mood of the hour. 
Lyly's Plays : their Subdivision.--Just before 158o the acting of 
choir boys was in great favour with the Qveen and, as a conse- 
quence, with the public. The boys of Westminster, Windsor, the 
Chapel Royal, and St. Paul's were often summoned to court. For 
the last two companies, with whom acting became a profession, 
Lyly wrote his plays. These divide into four classes. The alle- 
gorical comedies, in which what is alluded to is as important as 
what is said, are Endimion, Sapho and Phao, and lll).das. Endimion, 
perhaps the most complete example of Lyly's allegorical comedy, 
presents the apology of Leicester to the Qeen for his secret mar- 
riage with Lettice, Countess of Essex. Sapho and Phao is full of 



68 .)¢an 

allusions to the coquetting of the Q.geen with the Duc d'Alençon 
and his wrathful departure from England in February, 158z. lydas 
allegorises--though with less detail than the othershas to the 
designs of Philip Il. on the English throne, and the Spanish 
Armada. Gallathea, Love's llletamorphosis, and The ll/'oman in the 
Ioone forma second classhpastoral comedies. They are alle- 
gorical onlv when some figure is given qualities which the Q.ueen 
was fond "of hearing praised as hers. /klatber Bombie, standing 
alone as a comedy on the model of Plautus, has a much more in- 
volved plot than anv of the other plays. Finally, also in a class 
bv itself, is 4lexande" and Campaspe. 
In this as in ail the comedies except ]kIotber Bombie and Love's 
l|[etamorphosis, Lyly used classic mvth for his chier material. Yet 
he but followed a custom of the day, for most of the plays given 
at court between 157o and 159o by the children's companies were 
based on such material : for instance, lphigenia, Narcissus, 4lcm¢on, 
.uintus Fabius, and Scipio /lfrica,,u,. These subjects seem to have 
been treated as pastorals, histories, and possibly allegories. Lyly 
rejected in 41exander and Campaspe the allegorical and the pastoral 
form, and told rather naively, except in style, the story of the love 
of Alëxander and Apelles for Campaspe, repeating in his sub-plot 
manv historic retorts of Diogenes. In details of method Lyly 
seems to have had a precursor. Richard Edwardes (born 1523, died 
1566 ) in his Damon and Pythias printed in 158:z, but usually 
assigned to 1564. , wrote in a way very suggestive of Lyly in 4lex- 
ander and CamDaspe. He disclaimed in his prologue intention of 
referring to any court except that of Dionysius at Syracuse ; intro- 
duced Ivrics; gave Aristippus the philosopher an important place; 
inveighéd against flattery at t[,e court; brought in the comic 
episode of Grim the collier without connection with the main plot, 
just as Lyly often introduces his comic material; and derived the 
fun of this scene mainlv from two impudent pages. Certainly it 
would have been naturel for Lyly, early in his career, to look to 
the plays of a former prominent toaster of the Chapel Children. 
Alexander and Campaspe: Date, Sources.- The exact date of 
41exander and Campaspe it seems impossible to determine. It 
was written before April, 1584, for it was licensed for printng in 



.jïea/n L..y, 269 

that month. The facts that similes and references in Euphues are 
found in it, and that the work--here of a kind which Lyly never 
exactly repeats--resembles the early Damon and Pytbias suggest 
that tllexander and Campaspe belongs early in his dramatic career. 
It has been held that it should precede Endimion, but the allegory in 
that play ; the fact that Blount, who places Sapho and Pbao, Galla- 
tbea, lydas, and A,lother Bombie in the order approved by the most 
recent criticism» purs it second ; and the better characterization, 
more natural dialogue, and slightly closer binding together of the 
main and the sub-plot, argue for the second place. 
The play, like the tlnatomie of Hït, is a composite. The main 
plot--the story of Apelles and Campaspe--Lyly found in Book 
35 of Pliny's History of the IP'orld. His setting he took from 
Plutarch's Lire of tllexander. That, too, gave him the siege of 
Thebes, Timoclea, some of the philosophers' names» most of their 
speeches» the generals» and Hephestion, and probably suggested the 
possibilities of Diogenes as a comic figure. The material for the 
scenes of the Cynic» and the name Manes, he found in the Lires 
of the Philosophers by Diogenes Laertius. 
Literary Estimate. --In the extant plays from 1550 tO 1580 love 
has but a subordinate part. In A/exander and Campaspe, however, as 
in ail the Lyly comedies, the central idea is that of nearly ail the 
great plays of the Elizabethan drama -- the love of man for woman. 
Doubtless the subject appealed to Lyly especially because in the self- 
abnegation of Alexander the Qeen might choose to see a compli- 
ment to her final position toward Leicester and the Countess of Essex. 
Diogenes he used in order to get comic relief. That Lyly's com- 
edies are comparatively free from vulgarity is probably because they 
were given by children before the Qeen and her ladies. Possibly 
the youth of the actors is the reason for the absence of strong 
emotional expression, but it is more probable that the temperament 
of the author is responsible. It is hard to believe that a dramatist 
who felt keenly emotional possibilities in his material could have 
passed by Timoclea so rapidly, for in Plutarch she has ail the 
requisites of the heroine in a Beaumont and Fletcher play. Nor 
would such a dramatist have made so little of the struggle of Alex- 
ander between infatuation and the desire to regain his accustomed 



self-command. Lyly's position toward his work is like that of the 
early writers of chronicle-history plays. He does not depend on 
selecting the most characteristic situations and speeches, on supply- 
ing missing motives, on unification of material which history bas 
passed down in somewhat disordered fashion, but on repeating as 
many as possible of the situations and speeches associated with the 
names. Like those writers, too, he makes no attempt to get 
behind his material, to see its interrelations and its dramatic sig- 
nificance as a whole. 
Some allowance, however, must be made for faults in this play, 
for the Prologue states that it was hastily written. The comedy 
itself shows that Lyly planned as he wrote. The opening scene 
of the play leaves one to suppose that Timoclea, who, rather 
than Campaspe, is the chief female speaker, is to play an impor- 
tant part. She never appears again, and is mentioned but once. 
Later parts of the play call for some manifestation, in this first 
scene, of Çampaspe's intense fascination for Alexander, but there 
is nothing of the kind. Nor does the action in anv later scene 
reallv prepare for Alexander's self-reproaches for hi mad infatu- 
ation. Until late in the play, when Lyly. speaks of Campaspe 
as Alexander's concubine, a reader is not even entirely clear as 
to their relations. Perhaps some of this lack of clearness and 
sequence may result because the Timoclea part, at least, of the 
first scene is a survival from an older play. In the 4ccounts of the 
Revels at Court, under an entry for expenditures between January 
and February, I573(4) , " One Playe showen at Hampton Coorte 
belote ber Ma t« by Mr. Munkester's Children" (Mulcaster's of 
the Merchant Tavlors' School) is mentioned. Interlined are the 
words : " Timocli at the Sege of Thebes bv Alexander." 
The movement of the comedy is episolic. The clever little 
pages bind the scenes together; Alexander connects the incidents 
of the main story; but too often, especially in the sub-plot, the 
action is not prepared for, and does hot lead to anything. Nor 
does Lyly care much for climax. The Diogenes sub-plot does not 
end; it is dropped just before the main story closes. The great 
dramatic possibilities of the final scene are practically thrown awav. 
It is significant that they could be developed only by a hand which 



could paint vividly the contest of a sou|, the gradua| reascendency 
of old motives, and manly renunciation. 
Growth in character Lyly does hOt understand. As a fuie his 
figures are types rather than many-sided human beings. Nor are 
the types always self-consistent. Ail the nobility of Alexander's 
renunciation disappears when he says: *' Go, Apelles, take with 
you your Cmpaspe; Alexander is cloyed with looking on that 
which thou wond'rest at." In general, Lyly is too readv to depend 
on the wav in which his figures speak rather than on truth to lire 
in what tiaey speak. In the retorts of Apelles as he talks with 
Alexander of his work, there is, of course, something of the real 
artist's pride in his art and irritation at royal omniscience. There 
is characterization, too, in many of the speeches of Diogenes, but 
in both of these instances Lyly is either quoting or paraphrasing. 
Campaspe, it is truc, is a]most a character, and s]ight]y antici- 
pares the arch heroines of Shakespeare. Hers are coquettishness, 
womanly charm. In ber scene with Apel]es in the studio (Act IV. 
scene z), the underlying passion of both almost breaks through the 
frigid medium of expression. The pages may doubtless be traced 
back to the witty, graceless slaves of Latin comedy, and more 
immediately to precursors in the work of Edwardes, but Lyly adds 
so much individuality and humour that they are a real accession in 
the history of the drama. Moreover, many of his figures often 
comment incisively on customs and follies of the time, preparing 
for the later comedy of manners. 
No preceding play is so fu]] of charming and lasting ]yrics. 
In ail his comedies except The IF'oman in the AIoone, Lyly writes 
neither in the usual jingling rhymes nor the infrequently used 
blank verse, but in prose. He shows the men of his day new 
possibilities in dialogue; for though his artificial style prevents easy 
characterisation, it does not keep him from effective repartee and a 
closer representation of the give and take of real conversation than 
was possible with the rhyming lines, or with blank verse as it was 
handled in his day. Probably, however, the greatest importance 
of this play for the student of Elizabethan drama is the way it 
shows interest in a romantic story breaking through classic material 
and Renaissance expression, thus anticipating the romantic drama 



of 158 7. Clearly, then, the merits of .41exander and Campaspe are 
literary and historical, not dramatic. 
I.yly's I)evelopment as a I)ramatist.- That Lyly worked, how- 
ever, steadily toward more genuine drama becomes clear if one 
reads his plays in order. In all he shows classical influence by his 
choice of subject, or by constant allusion, but he is nota scholar 
in the sense of Jonson or Chapman. He is well read in certain 
authors--O,'id, particularly the Ietamorpboses, Plutarch, Pliny, 
perhaps Lucian ; he has at his tongue's end many stock Latin quo- 
tations, and delights in misquoting or paraphrasing for the sake of 
a pun, sure that the quick-witted courtiers will recognize the origi- 
nais. Çlassical in construction he certainly is not. His interest 
is to find a pretty love story which gives opportunities for dramatic 
surprises and complications, effective groupings, graceful dances, and 
daintv lvrics. He is fertile in finding interesting figures to bring 
upon the stage--the fairies of Endimion, the fiddlers of Alother Bom- 
bie, the shepherds of Leve's llI«tamorphosis. If one examines the only 
two plays of his which lack the contrasting comic under-plot,-- 
Lo.ve's AI«tamorphosis, and The ll"oman in the ]bloone,--it becomes 
clear that they are pastorals or masques. Even the other plays owe 
to their sub-plots the right to be called comedies. By choice of 
topics and by temperament, then, Lyly is a writer of masques. 
At first he de,,eloped his two plots side by side, as in Endimion. 
One is used simply to relieve the other, or to fill time-spaces nec- 
essarv between incidents of the main plot. Later, he joins the two 
slighly by letting figures in the sub-plot refer to incidents of the 
matn story. In «|Iother Bontbie he brings the groups together form- 
alb¢ two or three times, and closes the play with nearly ail the 
characters on the stage. In his last comedy, The IFoman in the 
«|Ioone, he discards contrasted plots, and tries to get his effects from 
one large group of figures. E,,en if his success in meeting his 
problem is not great, the mere recognition of it is significant. Yet 
it cannot be said that he ever becomes a good plotter, for he is 
always willing to bring in anywhere new people, new interests, or 
even, as in lllydas, to shift to a new plot midway. In A,lother Bom- 
bie, when the climax of complication is reached in the meeting of 
the disguised Accius and Silena and their fathers, Lyly is unable to 



master the difficulties of the situation. He lets the two reveal 
themselves tamely, confusingly, before he bas had anything like the 
potential fun out of the scene. Usually the plays ramble gently on 
till Lyly thinks the audience must have enough; then the deus ex 
machina appears, and ail ends. Climax in closing he seems hot to 
try for, but is content to end with a telling phrase. 
In characterization his work varies. In the allegories he wishes 
merely to suggest well-known figures; distinct, final characteriza- 
tion would be out of place, even dangerous. In the pastoral- 
masques, the land of fantasy, the lines of characterization need hot 
be sharply drawn. But even if one looks at lother Bmbie and the 
sub-plots of the plays, one secs that though there is perhaps a slight 
gain in portraying the figures, the people are too often significant 
for the way in which they talk rather than for action or char- 
acterizing speech. When Lyly attempts strong presentation of 
crucial moments or pathos, he stammers, or is particularly con- 
ventional. 
As he develops, he modifies the eccentricities of his style. Nor is 
it probable that the passing of the popular enthusiasm for Euphuism 
is wholly responsible for this. He had the godd sense to sec the 
superiority of prose to verse as the expression of comedy, and he 
must bave felt how much his rigidly artificial style cramped him. 
In A4other Bombie, I589-91 , Euphuism is well-nigh gone. In its 
place we have a style in which characterized dialogue is more 
possible and more evident. In The lVoman in the lIoone the exi- 
gencies of verse are too much for Euphuism, and it practically 
disappears. 
Very slowly, then, Lyly was working toward a drama of simple 
characterizing dialogue, more unified, and at the same rime more 
complex. Even as he worked, however, Kyd, Greene, and Mar- 
lowe swept by to accomplishment impossible for him under any 
conditions. 
His Place in English C0medy. -- John Lyly is hot merely, then, 
as bas been too often suggested, a scholar "picking fancies out of 
books (with) little else to marvel at." He was keenly alive to for- 
eign and domestic influences at work about him. His use of what 
other men off:er foreshadows the marvellous assimilative power of 



Shakespeare. He seems to retain and apply with freedom all the 
similes and illustrations that corne in his way ; many are not to be 
hunted down except in out-of-the-way corners of the books best 
known to him. Only a man of poetic feeling would bave cared to 
work in these allegories and pastorals. Humorous he is in the scenes 
of the pages. Here and there, as in some of the replies of Apelles 
to Alexander, and in the words of Parmenio on the rising sun (Act I, 
scene x), there is caustic irony. Lyly is a thinker, too, and a critic, 
as his frequent satire of existing social customs or follies shows. 
Now and then he is fearless ; for instance, in his portrayal before 
the Queen of the artist's contempt for royal assumption of know- 
ledge (Act III, scene 4), and in his comment on the impossibility of 
happy love between a subject and a monarch (Act IV, scene 4)- His 
allegories show best his ingenuity and inventiveness. His mastery 
of involved phrasing is indubitable. 
Without doubt, however, his attitude toward his work is more 
that of the scholar than the poet or dramatist. His work is imita- 
tion of others who seem to him models, with the main attention on 
style. He bas the inventiveness of the dramatist, but not his in- 
stinct for technique or recognition of the possibilities of a story and 
care in working them out. He never says a thing for himself if he 
can find it anywhere in a recognized author. In this, however, he 
shared in the mood of Spenser and his group. Indeed, a little com- 
parison of Lyly with Spenser will show that, though in accomplish- 
ment he is far below the poet, he expresses in his comedies the 
historical influences, the existing intellectual conditions, and the 
literary aspirations which Spenser phrases in his early work. It is 
in poetic power, in imaginative sweep, that the two separate 
widely. 
Yet Lyly, drawing on what preceded and what surrounded him, 
did more than express the literary mood and desires of his day. 
Through him the lyric in the drama came to Dekker, Jonson, and 
Shakespeare, more dainty and more varied. He broke the way for 
later men to use prose as the means of expression for comedy. He 
gave them suggestions for clever dialogue. At a time of loose and 
hurried dramatic writing he showed that literary finish might well 
accompany such composition. His pages are the prototypes of the 



boys and servants in Peele, Chapman, Jonson, and Shakespeare. In 
a small way he foreshadowed the comedy of manners. For as close 
a relationship between the drama and politics as we find in his alle- 
gories, we must look to the declining days of the Jacobean drama-- 
to Middleton's Gaine of Cbess. The romantic spirit round expres- 
sion in him, hot in a drama of blood, but in pastorals and masques 
which look forward to the masques of Jonson, to Love's Labour's Lost, 
Midsummer Night's Dream, and `4s You Like It. His influence on 
the highly sensitized mind of Shakespeare may be traced in many 
lines and scenes. 
His vogue as a dramatist was short. By 159o the boisterous, 
romantic drama, the often inchoate chronicle history, both 'requently 
accompanied by scenes of would-be comic horse-play, engrossed 
public attention. The great period o" experimentation with both old 
and crude forms was beginning. Itis hot surprising that when 
Lyly's plays were revived by the Chapel Children in t597-t6oo , 
they could hot stand comparison with the work of Jonson, Dekker, 
Heywood, and other dramatists of the day, but were called "musty 
fopperies of antiquity." Their work, in bridging from the classic 
to romantic comedy, as the Drama of Blood bridged from Seneca to 
real tragedy, was done. Thereafter their main interest must be 
historical. 
Previ0us Editi0ns and the Present Tex-t.--The title of the first 
quarto ('584) is, "A moste excellent Comedie of Alexander, Cam- 
paspe, and Diogenes, played before the Qeene's Maiestie on twelfe 
day at night, by her Maiestie's Children, and the Children of Paules. 
Imprinted at London, for Thomas Cadman, I584." In the second 
edition, issued the same year by the same publisher, the title is 
changed to Campaspe, and the play is said to have been given "on 
new yeares day at night." The title, Campaspe, was retained in the 
third quarto, I59I , for William Broome, and in Edward Blount's 
duodecimo collective edition, I632. (Manly.) Both, too, state that 
the play was given " on twelfe-day at night." The headlines of 
ail the quartos read .4/exander and Campaspe ; of Blount, .4 traglca/l 
Comedie of.4/exander and Campaspe. Besides the quartos and Blount's 
8ixe Court Comedies there are these reprints: in Vol. II., Dodsley's 
Select Collection of O/d P/ays, x825; in Vol. I., ïohn Li//y's Dra- 



-7 6 eahn L,l_y 

matic llVorks, F. W. Fairholt, 1858; in Vol. II., Spedmem ftbe Pre- 
Sbaksperean Drama, J. M. Manly, 1897. In the footnotes of the 
present edition the quartos are indicated by A. B. and C., the other 
editions by Bi. Do. F. and M. respectively. Blount's text, mainly, 
is followed. The variant readings of the quartos are given on the 
authority of Fairholt. 
GIORGI P. BAKER. 



CAMPASPE 

'Played before tbe ueenes 
Maieftie on 7:we/fe 
day at Night- 

'By ber MAIESTIES 
Children, and the Chil- 
dren of Paules. 

lign«tt¢ 
motto: 
Mollia cum duris 

LONDON 
Printed by ld/illiam S]ansby, 
for Edward "Blount. 
632. 



The Persons of the Plav' 

SCENE: ATHENS] 
l Do. first gives the list. The two companies were probably united for the Court perforo 
mance. Thus the doubfing of parts, common in the da)s of Elizabeth, as avoided. 



THE PROLOGUE AT 
tbe blacke Friers  

THEY that feare the stinging of waspes make fannes of peacocks 
tailes, whose spots are like eyes; and Lepidus, which could hot 
sleepe for the chattering of birds, set up a beast whose head was 
like a dragoni 2 and wee, which stand in awe of report, are com- 
pelled to set before our owle Pallas shield, a thinking by ber vertue 5 
to cover the others deformity. It was a signe of famine to/Egypt 
when Nylus flowed lesse than twelve cubites or more than eighteene : 
and it may threaten despaire unto us if wee be lesse courteous than 
you looke for or more cumbersome. But, as Theseus, being prom- 
ised to be brought to an eagles nest, and, travailing ail the day, to 
found but a wren in a hedge, yet said, "This is a bird," so, we 
hope, if the shower a of our swelllng mountaine seeme 5 to bring 
forth some elephant, performe but a mouse, you will gently say, 
"This is a beast." Basill softly touched yieldeth a sweete sent, 
but chafed in the hand, a ranke savour : we feare, even so, that our t5 
labours slily 6 glanced on will breed some content, but examined to 
I Before  584 the Chapel Ch]ldren acted publicly in a Blackfriars' inn-yard. See pp. cxi- 
cxxxv, Lyly's Endimion Hoir & Co. 
 " It hapned during the tirne of'his Triumvirat (Lepidus's), that in a certain phce where 
he was, the magistrates attended him to }ris lodging environed as it were with woods on everie 
aide : the next morrow Lepidu$... in bitter tearmes and minatorie words chid them for that they 
had laid him where he coald hot sleep a w]nk ail rfight long, for the noise and singing that the 
birds made about hrn. They being thus checked and rebuked, devised against the next night 
to paint in a piece of parchment of great length a long Dragon or serpent, wherewith they com- 
passed the place where Lepidus should take hia repose ; the aight of which serpent thus painted 
ao terrified the birds that they . . . were altogether ailent.'" -- Pliny ttist, of kP'or/d» Hol- 
land, 635 , xxxv. . 
a The favor of the Queen. Elizabeth, like Minerva was called Pallas because of ber 
¢tdibacy. These words, with 11. tz, ], p. , show that the Court performance came first. 
¢ The author, who presents the phy. 
 « eeming" ? . e c Sfightly ' ? M. 
279 



z8o The Prologue at the klace Friers 

the proofe, small commendation. The haste in performing shall be 
our excuse. There went two nights to the begetting of Hercules ; 
feathers appeare hot on the Phoenix under seven moneths ; and the 
mulberie is twelve in budding: but our travailes are like the hares, 2o 
who at one time bringeth forth, nourisheth, and engendreth againe, 1 
or like the brood of Trochilus,  whose egges in the same moment 
that they are laid become birds. But, howsoever we finish our 
worke, we crave pardon if we offend in matter, and patience if wee 
transgresse in manners. ?ee bave mixed mirth with councell, and 2 5 
discipline with delight, thinking it hot amisse in the same garden 
to sow pot-hearbes that wee set flowers. But wee hope, as harts 
that cast their hornes, snakes their skins, eagles their bils, become 
more fresh for an¢other labour, so, out charge being shaken off, 
we shall be fit for greater matters. But least, like the Myndians, 3o 
wee make out gates greater than out towne, 3 and that out play runs 
out at the preface, we here conclude,--wishing that although there 
be in your precise judgements an universall mislike, yet we may 
enjoy by your wonted courtesies a generall silence. 

1 I'/olhnd, IX. SS ; Topsell, Ititt. of Fo»r-footed Beattt z6o7, p. z6 7. 
2 A smal|, p|over-fike Nile bird. 
a ,, Coming once to Mndos (Dorian colony on Carian coast), and seeing thelr Gares verï 
larae, and thcir City but small, [Diogenes] said, ' ¥ou Men of Myndos, I advise you to shut 
up .,our Gares for fear your town should run out.' " Diogenes Laertius, Li'z,¢: of Pbileoplx, r» 
6o6, VI. 4.z 5. 



The Prologue at the Court 

WE are ashamed that our bird, which fluttereth by twilight, seem- 
ing a swan, should  bee proved a bat, set against the sun. But, as 
Jupiter placed Silenus asse among the starres, and Alcibiades cov- 
ered his pictures, being owles and apes, with a curtaine imbroidered 
with lions and eagles» so are we enforced upon a rough discourse to 5 
draw on a smooth excuse, resembling lapidaries who thinke to hide 
the cracke in a stone by setting it deepe in gold. The gods supped 
once with poore Baucis; " the Persian kings sometimes shaved 
stickes; our hope is Your Highnesse wil at this time lend an eare 
to an idle pastime. Appion, raising Homer from hell, demanded xo 
only who was his father;  and we, calling Alexander from his grave, 
seeke only who was his love. Whatsoever wee present, we wish it 
may be thought the dancing of Agrippa 4 his shadowes, who, in the 
moment they were seene, were of any shape one would conceive; 
or Lynces, 5 who, having a quicke sight to discerne, have a short x5 
memory to forget. Vith us it is like to rare as with these torches, 
which giving light to others consume themselves and we shewing 
delight to others shame ourselves. 

1 * Which, fluttering by twilight, seemeth a swan, should ' . 
 Ovid, Bleta. III. 63. 
 Flolland, XXX. z. 
4 Henry Cornelius Agfippa (von Nettesheim), knight, doctor, and, by common reputa- 
tion, magician. Died 1535. On request he raised spirits--of the dead, Tully delivering his 
oration on Roscius i of the living, Henry VIII. and his lords hunting.- Godwin Li«s of 
 Lynxes. " It is thought that of ail beastes they seeme most brightly, for the poets faine 
that their eie-sight pierceth through every solid body, although it be as thicke as a gai] .... 
A|though they be |ong afflicted ith hunger, )'et hen they rate their meate, if they hrare an)' 
noise, or an)" other chaunce cause them to turne aboute from their tarare, oute of the sight 
of it, they forgette their prey, notwithstanding thdr hunger» and go to seeRe another booty." 
- Topsell» 459-49 z. 



[Alexander 

and 

Campaspe] 

Actus primus. Scoena prima 1 

Enter CLITU$ and PARMENIO 2 

LYTUS. Parmenio, I cannot tell whether I should more 
commend in Alexanders victories courage, or courtesie, 
in the one being a resolution without feare, in the other 
a liberalitie above custome. Thebes is razed, the people 
hOt racked ; towers throwne downe, bodies hOt thrust aside; a con- 
quest without conflict, and a cruell warre in a milde peace, a 
Par. Clytus, it becommeth the sonne of Philip to bee none other 
than Alexander is; therefore, seeing in the father a full perfection, 
who could bave doubted in the sonne an excellency ? For, as the 
moone can borrow nothing else of the sunne but light, 4 so of a sire 
in whom nothing but verrue was what could the childe receive but 
singular ? 5 It is for turkies to staine each other, hOt for diamonds ; 
in the one to bee made a difference in goodnesse, in the other no 
comparison. 6 
1 Manly, the only editor of preceding texts, who attempts to place the scenes, prlnts here : 
"The audience-chamber of the palace. Clitus and Parmenio near the door. Timoclea and 
Campaspe are brought in later as prisoners. Alexander on the throne, attended by Hephestion.'" 
Do not lines 77-78 suggest that the scene takes place just outside the city walls, as Alexander 
returns from conquest ; and that the characters enter one after another ? 
2 Plutarch (llexander) says Clitus was of «Ca churlish nature, prowde and arrogant." 
Sec IV. 315, 357-59- Plutarch mentions Parmenio (llexander), IV. 354-56. 
a Ly|y softem Plutarch. Sec IV. 3o9-to. 
 " Likewise that shee loseth ber light (as the test of the planers) by the brightnes of the 
Sun, when she approcheth neere. For borrowing wholly of him her light she doth shine." 
Holland, II. 9-  Old French singuher, excellent. F. 
 « Staine ' for excel. The sense is, *« It is for turquoises to excel one another, hot for dia- 
monds, for among the latter ther« tan be no compari0n since ail are perfect." 
253 



z84 A Tragical! Comedie of 

Clytus. You mistake mee, Parmenio, if, whilest I commend Alex- x5 
ander, you imagine I call Philip into question; unlesse, happily, 
vou conjecture (which none of judgement will conceive)that be- 
cause I like the fruit, therefore I heave at the tree, or, coveting to 
kisse the childe, I therefore goe about to poyson the teat. 
Par. I, but, Clytus, I oerceive you are borne in the east, and o 
never laugh but at the sunne rising ; 1 which argueth, though a dutie 
where you ought, yet no great devotion where you might. 
Clytus. ,Ve will make no controversie of that [of] 2 which there 
ought to be no question ; onely this shall be the opinion of us both, 
that none was worthy to be the father of Alexander but Philip, nor 2 5 
any meete to be the sonne of Philip but Alexander. 
[Enter Soldiers rvitb Ttsoc.E^, C^le^seE, otber captives, and spods.] 
Par. Sort, Clytus, behold the spoiles and prisoners ! A pleasant 
sight to us, because profit is joyned with honour; hOt much pain- 
full to them, because their captivitie is eased by mercie. 
Timo. [aside]. Fortune, thou didst never yet deceive ve*tue, 3o 
because ve,tue never vet did trust fortune[ Sword and tire will 
never get spoyle whe'e wisdome and fortitude beares sway. O 
Thebes, thv wals were raised bv the sweetnesse of the harpe, a but 
rased by tlîe shrilnes of the trumpet! Alexander had never corne 
so neer the wals, had Epaminondas walkt about the wals; and yet 35 
might the Thebanes have beene merry in their streets, if hee had 
beene to watch their towers. But destinie is seldome forseene, 
never prevented, rVe are here now captives, whose neckes are 
voaked by force, but whose hearts cannot veeld by death.--Come 
Campaspe and the test, let us hOt be ashamed to cast out eyes on 40 
him on whom we feared hOt to cast out darts. 
Par. Madame, you need hOt doubt; 4 it is Alexander that is the 
conquerour. 
Timo. Alexander hath overcome, hOt conquered. 
Par. To bring ail under his subjection is to conquer. 45 

I Lyly refers both to the Persian sun-worahlppere and the saying of Pompey, "More wer- 
daip the rislng than the œetting sun.'" 
 Ail preceding text read ' that which.' 



sc. ,] llexander and Campaspe 8 5 

Timo. He cannot subdue that which is divine. 
Par. Thebes was not. 
Timo. Verrue is. 
Clytus. Alexander, as hee tendreth  venue, so hee will you. Hee 
drinketh not bloud, but thirsteth after honour; hee is greedie of 5o 
victorie, but never satisfied with mercie ; in fight terrible, as becom- 
meth a captaine; in conquest milde, as beseemeth a king; in ail 
things " than which nothing can be greater, hee is Alexander. 
Camp. Then, if it be such a thing to be Alexander, I hope it 
shall be no miserable thing to be a virgin. For, if hee save ours5 
honours, it is more than to restore our goods i and rather doe I wish 
he preserve out faine than our lires: which if he doe, we will con- 
fesse there can be no greater thing than to be Alexander. 
[Enter ALEXANDER and HEPHESTION.: 
lex. Clytus, are these prisoner8 ? Of whence these spoiles. 
Clytus. Like your Majestie, 4 they are prisoners, and of Thebes. 60 
/llex. Of what calling or reputation ? 
Clytus. I know not, but they seeme to be ladies of honour. 
./tlex. I will know. l\Iadam, of whence you are I know, but 
who, I cannot tell. 
Timo. Alexander, I ara the sister of Theagines, who fought a65 
battell with thy father, before the citie of Chleronle where he died 
I say -- which none can gainsay m valiantly.6 
/llex. Lady, there seeme in your words sparkes of your brothers 
deedes, but worser fortune in your lire than his death; but feare 
not, for you shall lire without violence enemies or necessitie. But 70 
what are you, faire ladie, another sister to Theagines ? 
Camp. No sister to Theagines, but an humble hand-maid to 
Alexander, born of a meane parentage, but to extreme « fortune. 
/llex. Vell, ladies, for so your vertues shew you, whatsoever 
your births be, you shall be honorably entreated. Athens shall be 75 
your Thebes ; and you shall not be as abjects of warre, but as sub- 
I Esteems.  In ail things he is that than. 
a Menfioned in IVortb' Plutarcb, Nutt, IV. 345 35, 380. 
41fitlike. Seep. 3z7. 5SicA. and B.; BI. «Chyeronte.' 
¢ For the dramatic story of Timoclea and the original of this speech see Nortb's Plutarcb» 
Nutt» IV. 3o- . 7 Worst possible. 



86 A Tragical! Comedie f 

jects to Alexander. Parmenio, conduct these honourable ladies into 
the citie; charge the souldiers hOt so much as in words to off:er 
them any off:ence; and let ail wants bee supplied so farre forth as 
shall be necessarie for such persons and my prisoners. 
Exeu»t PARMi. [mOI  captivi. 
Hephestion, 1 it resteth now that wee have as great care to governe 
in peace as conquer in warre, that, whilest armes cease, arts may 
flourish, and, joyning letters with launces, wee endevour to bee as 
good philosophers as souldiers, knowing it no lesse prayse to bee wise 
than commendable to be valiant. 
Hep. Your Majestie therein sheweth that you have as great ile- 
sire to rule as to subdue: and needs must that commonwealtn te 
fortunate whose captaine is a philosopher, and whose philosopner a 
captaine. xeunt. 

Actus primus. Scœena secunda2 

[Enter] M^Ns, s GR^mCHUS, PSVLI.US 

gkIanes. I serve in stead of a master a mouse, 4 whos nouse is a 
tub, whose dinner is a crust, and whose bed is a boorl. 
Psyllus. Then art thou in a state of life which pnilosophers com- 
mend : a crum for thy supper, an hand for thy cup, and thy clothes 
for thy sheets ; for Natura paucis contenta. 
Gran. Manes, it is pitie so proper a mat, should be cast away 
upon a philosopher; but that Diogenes, that dogge, s should have 
I Bi. prints this as the name of the speaker. 
* The market-place. M. 
a Diogenes brought to Athens an attendant of thls narr» and dismlssed hlm for the reasona 
given p. z96. 
4 Lyly refers blindly to the following : " Seeing a mouse running over a Room and cons|der- 
ing with himseif that it neither sought for a Bed, nor was affraid to be alone in the dark, nor 
desired any of out esteemed Dainties he contrived a way to relieve his own Exigencies ; bdng 
the first, as mme think, that foided in the Manti, because his necessity obliged him to sleep 
in it.'" Lies of Pbiiosopbers VI., 4oz. 
 The constant application of the epithet " Dog," to Diogenes is historicaily correct. When 
Aiexander fa'st went to sec the phiiosopher, he introduced himseif thus : " I ara Aiexander 
surnamed the Great."To this Diogenes replied .- " And I am Diogenes surnamed the Dog." 
The Athenians mised a pillar of Parian marble» surmounted with a dog» to his memorï. 



sc. ,,] llexander and Cmpaspe 8 7 

il4anes. 
Gran. 
A,lanes. 
cold. 
Gran. 

Manes, that dog-bolt, 1 it grieveth nature and spiteth art: the one 
having round thee so dissolute- absolute 2 I would say--in bodie, 
the other so single- singular--in minde, x o 
/lanes. Are you merry ? It is a signe by the trip of your 
tongue and the toyes a of your head that you have done that to day 
which I bave hot done these three dayes. 
XYhats that ? 
Dined.  5 
I thinke Diogenes keepes but cold cheare. 
I would it were so; but hee keepeth neither hot nor 

Vhat then, luke warme ? That made Manes runne from 
his toaster the last day.  20 
Psvllus. Manes had reason, for his name foretold as much. 
#anes. My name ? How so, sir boy ? 
Psyllus. You know that it is called mons a movendo, because it 
stands still. 
A4anes. Good. 5 
Psyllus. And thou art named Manes a manendo, because thou 
runnest away. 
#lanes. Passing5 reasons[ I did hOt run away, but retire. 
Psyllus. To a prison, because thou wouldst have leisure to con- 
template. 3 ° 
A,1ane,. I will prove that my bodie was immortall because it was 
in prison. 
Gan. As how ? 
Alane,. Did your masters never teach you that the soule is im- 
mortall ? 35 
Gran. Yes. 
A,lanes. And the bodie is the prison of the soule. 
Gran. True. 
ll,lanes. Vhy then, thus 6 to make my body immortall, I put it 
in prison. 7 4o 
Gran. Oh, bad ! 
I Currish fellow. I Perfect. $ Conceits.  Yesterday. 
6 Pun : surpassing, running by. 0 BI. prints H,'by tben» tbis i F. tbus. 
¢ This Socratic method foreshadows Shakespeare's clowns and pages. 



88 .d 75"agicall Comedie of 

Psyllus. Excellent iii! 
A'Ianes. You may see how dull a fasting wit is : therefore, Psyllus, 
let us goe to supper with Granichus. Plato is the best fellow of ail 
philosophers: give me him that reades I in the morning in the45 
schoole, and at noone in the kitchen. 
Psyllus. And me! 
Gran. Ah, sirs, my master is a king in his parlour for the body, 
and a god in his studie for the soule. Among ail his men he com- 
mendeth one that is an excellent musition ; then stand I bv and clap 5 ° 
another on the shoulder and say, "This is a passing good cooke." 
Alanes. It is well done Granichus; for give mee pleasure that 
goes in at the mouth, hot the eare, mI had rather fill my guts 
than my braines. 
Psyllus. I serve Apelles, who feedeth mee as Diogenes doth55 
Manes; for at dinner the one preacheth abstinence, the other com- 
mendeth counterfaiting': when I would eate meate, he paints a a 
spit; and when I thirst, "O," saith he, " is hot this a faire pot ? " 
and pointes to a table 4 which containes the Bar.quet of the Gods, 
where are many dishes to feed the eye, but hot to fill the gut. 60 
Gran. ,Vhat doest thou then ? 
Psyllus. This doth hee then: bring in manv examples that some 
have lived by savours; and proveth that mucfi easier it is to fat by 
colours ; and telles of birdes that have been fatted by painted grapes 
in winter, and how many have so fed their eyes with their mis-65 
tresse picture that they never desired to take food, being glutted 
with the delight in their favours. 5 Then doth he shew me counter- 
feites,- such as bave surfeited, with their filthy and lothsome vom- 
ites; and the riotous 6 Bacchanalls of the god Bacchus and his 
disorderly crew; which are painted ail to the lire in his shop. To 7 ° 
conclude, I tare hardly, though I goe richly, which maketh me 
when I should begin to shadow a ladies face, to draw a lambs head, 
and sometime to set to the body of a maid a shoulder of mutton, 
for Semper animus meus est in patinis, r 

1 * Redes," teaches. 8 BI. omlts a. 
s Pun : painting, substituting false for real.  Picture. 
6 Preceding texts read: lnd ¢oitb tbe riotous i ¢oitb printer's repetition. 
"t Terence» Eunucbus» 816. 

8 Countenances. 



sc..] l]exander and Cam])as.pe 280 

shop painted, I wou|d make mine eyes latte as butter, for I have 
nought but sentences to fill my maw : as, Plures occidit crapula quant 
gladius; A4usajejunantibus arnica; Repletion ki||eth delicatly; and an 
old saw of abstinence by  Socrates,--The bellv is the heads grave. 
Thus with sayings, hot with meate, he maketfi a gal|imaffay, z 
Gran. But how doest thou then lire ? 
l'anes. With fine jests, sweet ayre, and the dogs a aimes. 
Gran. gVell, for this time I will stanch thy gut, and among pots 
and platters thou shah see what it is to serve Plato. 
Psyllus. For joy of it, Granichus, lets sing. 
A4anes. My voice is as cleare in the evening as in the morning. 4 
Gran. An other commoditie of emptines ! 

Thou art a god to mee; for, could I see but a cookes 7$ 

8o 

85 

SONG 5 
Gran. 0 for a bowle of fatt canary 
Rich Palermo, sparkling sherry, 
Some nectar else  from Juno's daiery : 
O these draughts would make us merry ! 
Psil. 0 for a wench ! (I deale in faces 
And in other dayntier things,) 
Tickled am I with ber embraces,-- 
Fine dancing in such fairy ringes. 
/l/2'a. O for a plump fat leg of mutton, 
Veale, lambe, capon, pigge, and conney !  
None is.happy but a glutton ; 
None an asse but who wants money. 
Ch. .Vines, indeed, and girls are good 
But brave victua|s feast the bloud : 
For wenches wine and lusty cheere, 
Jove would leape down to surfet heere. 

9 o 

95 

I00 

[Exeunt.] 

I «« Ail the old editions omit bv ; it appears in Dodsley, and a sixteenth-century hand in- 
'rted it in ink in a copy of the thi'd edition, now in the Garrick collection." M. 
 Hash. s Diogenes.  Referring to the bad effect on the voice ofeating just before 
,inglng. n BI. first gave the songs. In BI. 'Granicus' is below ' Song.' 0 Besicles.  Rabbit. 



0-90 wt Traicall Comedie of [^cT. 1 

Actus primus. Scœena tertia i 

[Enter] 

lIIelip. I had never such adoe to warne schollers to corne before 
a king! First I came to Çrisippus, a rail, leane old mad man, 
willing him presently to appeare before Alexander. Hee stood star- 
ing on mv face, neither moving his eyes nor his bodv. I urging 
him to ive some answer, hee tooke up a booke, sate downe, and 5 
saide nothing. Melissa, his maide, told mee it was his manner, and 
that oftentimes shee was fain to thrust meat into his mouth, for that 
he would rather sterve than cease studie. XVell, thought I, seeing 
bookish men are so blockish and great clearkes such simple courtiers, 
I will neither be partaker of their commons nor their commenda-IO 
tions. From thence I came to Plato and to Aristotle a and to divers 
other; none refusing to corne, saving an olde, obscure fellow, who, 
sitting in a tub turned towardes the sunne, read Greeke to a young 
boy. Him when I willed to appeare before Alexander, he answered, 
" f Alexander would faine see mee, let him corne to mee ; if learne 5 
of me, let him corne to mee; whatsoever it be, let him corne to 
me." "XVhy," said I, " he is a king." He answered, ",Vhy, 
I am a philosopher." " Wh.v, but he is Alexander." " I ; but 
I ara Diogenes." I was halfe angry to see one so crooked in 
his shape to bee so crabbed in his sayings; so, going mv wav, 2O 
I said, " Thou shalt repent it, if thou comest hot to Alexnder" 
"Nay," smiling answered hee, " Alexander "may repent it if hee 
corne hot to Diogenes: vertue must bee sought, hot offered." 
And so, turning himselfe to his cell, hee grunted I know hOt what, 
like a pig under a tub. But I must bee gone, the philosophers are 2- 5 
comml ng. Exit. 
1 Alexander's Palace. M. The ftrst part might be there, but the portion wlth Diogenes 
belongs in some public phce through which the philosophen pass, returning from the palace. 
 BI. adds here the names of ail who enter during the scene. 
 From Plutarch'$ account of Aristotle (lleJ¢ander, 11¢'., ]o4-o6 , ]6]), Lyly borrows 
only the idea that Alexander, suspecting Aristotle of treasonable design% fithdre some of hi$ 
friendliness. 



c. .] llexander and Campaspe 9  

Enter PLATO, ARISTOTLE, CRY$1PPU$, CRATE$» CLEANTHES» and 
A N..X.. RCH S ] 
Plato. It is a dicult controversie, Aristotle, and rather to be 
wondred at than beleeved, how natural causes should worke super- 
naturall effects. 
dri. I do not so much stand upon the apparition is seene in the 3o 
moone,  neither the Demonium of 8ocrates, as that I cannot by 
naturall reason give any reason of the ebbing and flowing of the 
sea ; which makes me in the depth of my studies to crie out, O ens 
entium, mherere mei. 
Plato. Cleanthes and you attribute so much to nature bv search-35 
ing for things which are not to be found, that, whilest you studie a 
cause of your owne, a you omitt the occasion it selle. There is no 
man so savage in whom resteth not this divine particle : that there is 
an omnipotent, eternall, and divine mover, which may be called God. 
Gleant. I ara of this minde: that that first mover, which you4o 
terme God, is the instrument of all the movings which we attribute 
to nature.  The earth, which is masse, swimmeth  on the sea» 
seasons divided in themselves, fruits growing in themselves, the 
mestie of the skie, the whole firmament of the world, and what- 
soever else appeareth miraculous,  what man almost of meane45 
capacitie but can prove it natural ? 
dnax. These causes shall be debated at out philosophers feast, 
in which controversie I will take part with Aristotle that there is 
Natura naturans, ç and yet not God. 
Cra. And I with Plato that there is Deus optimus maximus, and 5o 
hOt nature. 
[Enter AtxtR, attended ky Htvutsxm, PRtm, and Cs] 
ris. Here commeth Alexander. 
Xlex. I see, Hephestion, that these philosophers are here attend- 
ing for us. 
I For his relations with Alender and Clitus, e Noh's Plutarrb. IV. 9-6o. 
= See Prologue, Endimion. n A theoretical cause. 
 The wecoeing ven lines roughly sure up the contsfing opinions of Phto and A6stotle 
on physic martel. 
n ' The h which as a ma swimmeth" or  The h wch is a me» swimming " ? 
« Nature that is a creative ener. 



.,4 Tra, çicall Comedie of 

Hep. Thev are not philosophers if they know. 1 not their duties. 55 
le/ex. But'I much mervaile Diogenes should bee so dogged. 
Hep. I doe hot thinke but his excuse will be better than Melip- 
pus message. 
le/ex. I will goe see him, Hephestion, because I long to see him 
that would command Alexander to corne, to whom ail the world is 60 
like to corne.- Aristotle and the rest, sithence my comming from 
Thebes to Athens, from a place of conquest to a pallace of 2 quiet, 
I have resolved with my selfe in mv court to have as many philoso- 
phers as I had in my camp souldiet:s. My court shal be a schoole 
wherein I wil have used as great doctrine a in peace as I did in 65 
warre discipline. 
/Cris. ,Ve are ail here ready to be commanded, and glad we are 
that we are commanded, for that nothing better becommeth kings 
than literature, which maketh them corne as neare to the gods in 
wisdome a they doe in dignitie. 70 
C/ex. It is so, Aristotle, but yet there is among you, yea and of 
vour bringing up, that sought to destroy Alexander, D Calistenes, 
)kristotle, whose treasons against his prince shall hot be borne out 
with the reasons of his philosophie. 
/Cris. If ever mischief entred into the heart of Calistenes, let 75 
Calistenes surfer for it; but that Aristotle ever imagined any such 
thing of Calistenes, Aristotle doth denie. 
le/ex. ,Vell, Aristotle, kindred mav blinde thee, and affection me ; 
but in kings causes I will hot stand to schollers arguments. This 
meeting shal be for a commandement that vou all frequent my 80 
court, instruct the young with rules, 5 confirme he olde with reasons : 
let vour lives bee answerable to your learnings, least my proceedings 
be contrarv to my promises. 
Hep. ou said you would aske every one of them a question 
which yesternight none of us could answere.  8 5 

1 C. n««. 2 BI. omits f. s Instruction. 
4 Alexander " plainly shewed the iii will he bare unto Aristotle, for that Callisthenes had 
bene brought up with him, being his kinsman, and thi son of Hero, Aristotle's neece." For 
the charges against the philosopher Callisthenes, sec North's Plutarcb» Nutt, IV. 359-363. 
" BI. rulcrs» the quartos ' rules." 
« The followzng six questions and answers L)ly selects nom nine in an interview of Alex- 
ander with ten wise men of India. North's Plutarcb, Nutt, IV.» 37z-37,. 



«. ,.] Ilexander and Campaspe 9 

Plato. 
A/ex. 
Aris. 
A/ex. 
AIris. 
A/ex. 

I will. Plato, of ail beasts which is the subtilest ? 
That which man hitherto never knew. 
Aristotle, how should a man be thought a god ? 
In doing a thing unpossible for a man. 
Crisippus, which was first, the day or the night ? 
The day, by a day. 
Indeede, strange questions must bave strange answers. 

9 ° 

Cleanthes) what sav you, is life or death the stronger ? 
Cie. Life, that sffereth so many troubles. 
4lex. Crates, how long should a man live ? 95 
Crates. Till hee thinke it better to die than to live. 
4lex. Anaxarchus) whether doth the sea or the earth bring forth 
most creatures ? 
4nax. The earth)for the sea is bt/t a part of the earth. 
4lex. Hephestion, me thinkes they have answered ail well) and IOO 
in such questions I meane often to trie them. 
Hep. It is better to have in your court a wise man than in your 
ground a golden mine. Therefore would I leave war, to study 
wisdom, were I Alexander. 
41ex. So would I, were I Hephestion.  But corne, let us goe 1o 5 
and give release, as I promised, to our Theban thralls.  
Exeunt [llexander, Hepbestion, Parmenio, and Clytus.] 
Thou art fortunate, Aristotle, that Alexander is thy 

Plato. 
scholler. 
4ris. 

And ail you happy that he is your soveraigne. 
Crisip. I could like the man well, if he could be contented to I I0 
bee but a man. 
4ris. He seeketh to draw neere to the gods in knowledge, not 
to be a god. [Enter DtocErEs. ] 
Plato. Let us question a little with Diogenes whv he went not 

I Alexander really spoke thus to Parmenio, but under very different circumstances, lffortb's 
Plutarcb, Nutt, IV., 33z-33. 
2 BI. tbraiL 
8 Neither the quartos nor BI. mark this entrance. In the Garrick copy of C. a contem- 
porary of Lyly, W. Neile, noted it in ink. If Diogenes enters here, he goes to the farther 
side of the stage. The philosophers at once cross to him. Possibly he cornes on at any time 
during the preceding dialogue) and going t]uietly to his part of the tage) wait till the philoso- 
phers sec hirn and croc. 



94 .,q raica]! Çomedie  Ec. 

with us to Alexander. Diogenes, thou didst forget thy duety, that 
thou wentst hOt with us to the king. 
Diog. And vou your profession that went to the king. 
Plato. Tho6 takest as great pride to be peevish as others do glory 
to be vertuous. 
Diog. And thou as great honour, being a philosopher, to be I2O 
thought court-like, as others shame, that be courtiers, to be accounted 
philosophers. 
Aris. These austere manners set aside, it is well knowne that 
thou didst counterfeite money. 1 
Diog-. And thou thy manners, in that thou didst hOt counterfeite i2 5 
money. 2 
AIris. Thou hast reason to contemne the court, being both in 
bodie and minde too crooked for a courtier. 
Diog. As good be crooked and indevour to make mv selfe straight, 
from the court, as bee straight and learne to be crookéd at the court. I 
Cris. Thou thinkest it a grace to be opposite against Alexander. 
Diog. And thou to be jump with Alexander. 
/Inax. Let us goe, for in contemning him we shal better please 
him than in wondering at him. 
4ris. Plato, what doest thou thinke of Diogenes ? i3.5 
Plato. To be Socrates furious. 3 Let us go. Exeunt Pbilosopbi. 
[Diogenes moves al)out with a lantern as if seeking something.] 
[Enter] PS*'LLUS, MANr.S, [ana] 
Psyllus. Behold, Manes, where thv toaster is, seeking either for 
bones for his dinner or pinnes for Iis sleeves. I will goe salure 
him. 
lanes. Doe so; but mure, hOt a word that you saw Manes! 140 
Gran. ï'hen stay thou behinde, and I will goe with Psvllus. 
[ lanes stands apar,. ] 
1 See Lies of Pbilosopbers, I696 , 4o1. 
 " You pretend to be better than vou are, for you do hot at heart object to counterfeiting," 
or, possibly, "Since you do hot gain money by counterfeiting, )'ou live falsely, for you have no 
adequate means of support."" 
 Mad. 
 Editors, following BI., have ruade the second act begin here, but would Diogenes go out 
only to corne on at once ? BI. orinted ' Diogenes, Ps)Rus»' etc. To the stage direction M. 
adds And Citizens.' 



SC. III] [lexander and Campas/)e z95 

Psyllus. Ail hayle, Diogenes, to your proper person. 
Diog. Ail hate to thy peevish conditions. 
Gran. 0 dogge [ 
Psyllus. What doest thou seeke for here .P 145 
Diog. For a man and a beast. 
Gran. That is easie without thy light to bee found: be hot ail 
these men ?  
Diog. Called men. 
Gran. What beast is it thou lookest for ? I 5o 
Diog. The beast my man Manes. 
Psyllus. Hec is a beast indeed that will serve thee. 
Diog. So is he that begat thee. 
Gran. What wouldest thou do, if thou shouldst find Manes? 
Diog. Give him leave to doe as hee hath donc before. I55 
Gran. What's that ? 
Diog. To run away. 
Psyllus. Why, hast thou no neede of Manes ? 
Diog. It were a shame for Diogenes to bave neede of Manes 
and for Manes to have no neede of Diogenes3 I6o 
Gran. But put the case he were gone wouldst thou entertaine 
any of us two ? 
Diog. Upon condition. 
Psyllus. Vhat ? 
Diog. That you should tell me wherefore any of you both were 165 
good. 
Gran. Why, I am a scholler and well seene in philosophy. 
Psyllm. And I a prentice and well seene in painting. 
Diog. Well then» Granichus, be thou a painter to amend thine 
iii face; and thou Psyllus a philosopher to correct thine evill tTo 
manners. But who is that? Manes? 
34an«s [cmingforward slwly]. I care not who I were, so I were 
hot Manes. 
Gran. You are taken tardie. 
Psyllus. Let us slip aside, Granichus, to see the salutation be-175 
tweene Manes and his master. [Tbey draw ack.] 
] Thî« line is Lyly's rather vague reference to the search of Diogenes for an honest man. 
.2 Almost the words of Diogencs. Sec Lies of Philo»ophers, VI.» 42]. 



z9 6 4 Tragica]l Comedie of [aca'. ..sc. 

Diog. llanes, tbou knoYvest tbe last day 1 I tbreYv avay my dish, 
to drinke in my hand, because it vas superfluous;2 nov I am 
determined to put aoeay my man and serve my selfe, quia non egeo 
tui vel te. 180 
gfIanes, glaster, you know a while agoe I tan away ; so doe I 
meane to doe againe, quia scio tibi non esse argenture. 
Diog. I know I bave no money, neither wili I  have ever a man, 
for I was resolved long sitbence to put away both my slaves, m 
money and Manes. 185 
lflanes. So was I determined to shake off 4 both my dogges, 
-- hunger and Diogenes. 
Psvllus. O sweet consent 5 betweene a crowde 6 and a Jewes harpe ! 
Gran. Come, let us reconcile tbem. 
Psrllus. It shall not neede, for this is their use: now doe they I9O 
dine one upon another. Exit Dtogenes. 
Gran. [comingforward witb Psyllus]. Ho, no,, Manes, art thou 
gone from thy master ? 
Ianes. No, I did but now binde my selfe to him. 
Psrllus. XVhy, you were at mortall jarres ! 195 
ranes. In faith, no ; oee brake a bitter jest one upon another. 
Gran. x, Vhy, thou art as dogged as he. 
Psrllus. My father knev them both little whelps. 
]Ianes. X, Veli, I vili hie me after mv master. 
Gran. Vhy, is it supper time with "Diogenes ? oo 
Ianes. I, with him at ail time when he bath meate. 
Psyllus. XVhy then, every man to his home ; and let us steale 
out againe anone. 
Gran. XVhere shall we meete ? 
Psvllus. XVhv at ,llae  vendibili suspensa hcedera non est opus. 205 
gflanes. O 13syllus, habeo te loco parentis ; thou blessest me. 
Exeunt. 
I Yesterday. 
* "Seeing once a little Boy dfinldng Water out of the Hollow of hi Haml he took hi 
lime DJsh out of his Scrip, ara1 threw t away aying: Th little boy bath out-done me in 
frugalJty." -- Lie of Pbilo*opbers» V I. » 410E. 
 BI. omits [. The quartos give it. 
 Preceding editions of. 
 " In old musical treadses harmony is frequently termed a consent ofimtruments.'" F. 
 Fiddle.  BI. ala. M. corrcr 



c.. ,. sc. ,] I/exander anal Campaspe a97 

Actus secundus. I Scaena prima.  

ALEXAIDER, HEP.ESTIOI% [and] P^GE.  

affde. ] 
Hep. 
/llex. 
father. 
Hep. 
lex. 
Hep. 

Stand aside, sir boy, till you be called. [The Page stands 
Hephestion, how doe you like the sweet face of Campaspe ? 
I cannot but commende the stout courage of Timoclea. 
Without doubt Cmpaspe had some great man to her 

You know Timoclea had Theagines to her brother. 
Timoclea still in thy mouth ! Art thou hot in love ? 
Not I. 

lex. Not with Timoclea, you meane. .Vherein vou resemble 
the lapwing, who crieth most where her nest is nt.  And so IO 
vou lead me from espying your love with Campaspe,--you crie 
/'imoclea. 
Hep. Could I as well subdue kingdomes as I can mv thoughts, 
or were I as farre from ambition as I ara from love, ali the world 
would account mee as valiant in armes as I know my selle moder- 15 
are in affection. 
lex. Is love a vice ? 
Hep. It is no verrue. 
lex. Well, now shalt thou see what small difference I make 
between Alexander and Hephestion. And, sith thou hast been 2o 
alwaies partaker of mv triumphes, thou shalt bee partaker of my 
torments. I love, Hephestion, I love[ I love Campaspe,--a 
thing farre unfit for a Macedonian, for a king, for Alexander. 
XVhy hangest thou downe thy head, Hephestion, blushing to heare 
that which I am not ashamed to tell ? 2 5 
Hep. Might my words crave pardon and my counsell credit, I 
would both discharge the duetie of a subject, for so I ara, and the 
office of a friend, for so I will. 
./llex. Speake Hephestion ; for, whatsoever is spoken, Hephestion 
speaketh to Alexander. 3o 
1 The Market-place. M.  BI. added  Diogenes, Apelles." 
 Preceding edition 8coena &cunda. " Sec Epistle D«dicatorie, Eupbues and is England. 



z98 A Tragica]] Comedie of [,c. x, 

Hep. I cannot tell, Alexander, whether the report be more shame- 
full to be heard or the cause sorrowful to be beleeved ? XVhat, is 
the son of Philip, king of Macedon, become the subject of Cam- 
paspe, the captive of Thebes ? Is that minde whose greames the 
world could hot containe drawn within the compasse of an idle, 35 
alluring eie ? XVil vou handle the spindle with Hercules 1 when 
vou should shake the speare with Achilles ? Is the warlike sound 
f drum and trump turned to the soft noise of Ivre and lute, the 
neighing of barbed" steeds, whose lowdnes filled ihe aire with ter- 
rour and whose breathes dimmed the sun with smoake, converted to 4o 
delicate tunes and amorous glances ? a O Alexander, that soft and 
yeelding minde should hot bee in him whose hard and unconquerd 
heart bath ruade so manv veeld. But you love! Ah griefe! But 
whom ? Campaspe. Ah shame ! A maide, forsooth, unknowne, 
unnoble, -- and who can tell whether immodest ? J whose eyes are 45 
framed by art to enamour, and whose heart was ruade by nature to 
enchant. I, but shee is beautifull. Yea, but hot therefore chaste. 
I, but she is comelv in ail parts of the bodie. But shee may bee 
crooked in some part of the minde. I, but shee is wise. Yea, but 
she is a woman. Beautie is like the blackberry, which seemeth 5o 
red when it is hot ripe,--resembling precious stones that are pol- 
ished with honie, 4 which the smoother thev Iooke, the sooner they 
breake. It is thought wonderfull among tle sea-men, that mugill, 6 
of ail fishes the swiftest, is round in the belly of the bret, 6 of ail 
the slowest: and shall it hot seeme monstrous to wise men that the 55 
heart of the greatest conquerour of the world should be found in the 
hands of the weakest creature of nature,--of a woman, of a captive ? 
Hermyns bave faire skins, but foule livers ; sepulchres fresh colours, 

 Ovid, Fasti, II. 305.  Horses covered with defensive armor. 
 Did dais suggest : -- 
"Grim-visaged war hath smooth'd his wrinkled front ; 
And now, --imtead of mounting barbed steeds 
To fright the souls of fearful advearies, -- 
He capers nimbly in a hdy's chamber 
To the hs¢isious pleasing of a lute! "'--Ricb. III. I.I. Do. 
4 ,, Ail precious stones in general are improved in bri|liancy by being boiled in honey, 
Corsican honey more particularly, °° -- Hist. of tVorld, XXXVII. 74- Bohn. 
6 Mullet. e Cornish for brill and turbot. 



,c. q H]exander and Caml)asl)e 

but rotten bones; women faire faces, but false hearts. Remember, 
Alexander, thou hast a campe to governe, hOt a chamber. Fall hOt 6o 
from the armour of Mars to the armes of Venus, from the fierie 
assaults of warre to the maidenly skirmishes of love, from display- 
ing the eagle in thine ensigne to set downe the sparrow. I sigh, 
Alexander, that, where fortune could hot conquer, follv shouid 
overcome. But behold ail the perfection that may bec in Campaspe : 65 
a haire curling by nature, hOt art ; sweete alluring eyes ; a faire face 
made in despite of Venus ; and a stately port in disdaine of Juno; a 
wit apt to conceive and quicke to answere; a skinne as soft as silke 
and as smooth as jet i a long white hand; a fine little foot,--to 
conclude, ail parts answerable to the best part. Vhat of this ? 7 ° 
Though she bave heavenly gifts, vertue and beautie, is shee hOt of 
earthly metall, flesh and bloud ? You, Alexander, that would be a 
god, shew your selle in this worse than a man, so soone to be both 
overseene and over-taken  in a woman, whose false teares know their 
truc times, whose smooth words wound deeper than sharpe swords. 75 
There is no surfet so dangerous as that of honie, nor anv poyson so 
deadly as that of love: in the one physicke cannot preaile, nor in 
the other counsell. 
Alex. My case were light, Hephestion, and hOt worthy to be 
called love, if reason were a remedie, or sentences could salve that 80 
sense cannot conceive. Little do you know and therefore sleightly 
doe you regard the dead embers in a private person or lire coales in 
a great prince, whose passions and thoughts doe as farre exceed 
others in extremitie as their callings doe in majestie. An eclipse in 
the sunne is more than the hlling of a starre: none can conceive 85 
the torments of a king, unlesse he be a king, whose desires are hOt 
inferiour to their dignities. And then judge, Hephestion, if the 
agonies of love be dangerous in a subject, whether they be hOt more 
than deadly unto Alexander, whose deepe and hOt to bec conceived 
sighes cleave the heart in shivers, whose wounded thoughts can 9 ° 
neither be expressed nor endured. Cease then, Hephestion, with 
arguments to seeke to refell2 that which with their deitie the gods 
cannot resist ; and let this suffice to answere thee,-- that it is a king 
that loveth, and Alexander, whose affections are hot to bec meas- 
I « Deceived and intoxicated with unreasoning affection." F.  Refut. 



300 A Tragicall Comedie of [^cT. ** 

ured by reason, being immortall, nor, I feare me, to be borne, being 95 
intolerable. 
Hep. I must needs yeeld, when neither reason nor counsell can 
bee heard. 
4lex. Yeeld, Hephestion, for Alexander doth love, and therefore 
must obtaine. IOO 
Hep. Suppose shee loves not ïou .; Aff'ection commeth hOt by 
appointment or birth ; and then as good hated as enforced. 
Alex. I al a king, and will command. 
Hep. You may, to ïeeld to lust bï force, but to consent to love 
by feare, )'ou cannot, fo 5 
21lex. gVhï ? gVhat is that which Alexander maï hOt conquer 
as he list ? 
Hep. Whï, that which ïou saï the gods cannot resist,-- 
love. 
41ex. I al a conquerour, shee a captive ; I as fortunate as shee I IO 
faire: my greatnesse maï answere her wants, and the girls of my 
minde the modestie of hers. Is it hOt likelï, then, that she should 
love ? Is it not reasonable ? 
Hep. You sav that in love there is no reason; and, therefore, 
there can be no iikelvhood. I 1 5 
4lex. No more, Hephestion ! In this case I will use mine own 
counsell, and in ail other thine advice : thou mavst be a good soul- 
dier, but never good loyer. Call my page. [ The age comsforzvard.] 
Sirrah, goe presently to Apelles and will him to corne to me without 
either delav or excuse. I .o 
Page. I" goe. [Exit.] 
41ex. In the meane season, to recreate my spirits, being so 
neere, wee will goe see Diogenes. And see where his tub is. 1 
[ Crosses stage.] Diogenes ! 
Diog. XVho calleth ? 1 2 5 
4lex. Alexander. How happened it that you would not come 
out of ïour tub to taï palace ? 2 

During the preceding dialogue Diogenes has probably corne in with his tub. Going to • 
remote part of the stage, he has put it down and crawled into it. 
For the original of this scene and for some of the speeches, sec Nortlo's Plutarclo» IV'. 
t-31z » Nutt i sec also/_des of Pbilosopbers, VI. 4t3. 



S(2. Il ./llexander and Camlasle 30  

Diog. Because it was as farre from my tub to your palace as 
from your palace to my tub. 
/llex. Vhy then doest thou owe no reverence to kings ? t3o 
Diog. No. 
/llex. Why so? 
Diog. Because they be no gods. 
/llex. They be gods of the earth. 
Diog. Yea, gods of earth. ! 
/llex. Plato is hot of thy minde. 
Diog. I am glad of it. 
/llex. Why ? 
Diog. Because I would have none of Diogenes minde but 
Diogenes.  4.0 
/ll«x. If Alexander have any thing that may pleasure Diogenes, 
let me know, and take it. 
Diog. Then take not from mee that you cannot give mee,--the 
light of the world. 
//lex. What doest thou want ? 145 
Diog. Nothing that you have. 
//lex. I have the world at command. 
Diog. And I in contempt. 
//lex. Thou shalt lire no longer than I will. 
Diog. But I shall die whether you will or no. 
//lex. How should one learne to bee content ? 
Diog. Unlearne to covet. 
//lex. Hephestion, were I not Alexander, I would wish to bee 
Diogenes ! 
Hep. He is dogged, but discreet; I cannot tell how sharpe 
with a kind of sweetnes; full of wit, yet too-too wayward. 
/llex. Diogenes, when I corne this way againe, I will both see 
thee and confer with thee. 
Diog. Doe. 1 [Enter 
/llex. But here commeth Apelies. How now, Apelles, is Venus 6o 
face yet finished ? 
/lpeL Not yet; beautie is not so soone shadowed whose perfec- 
I Doea Diogenea go out hec% o crawl into hi tub, to emerge when Crysu peaks to him» 



302 A Tragicall Comedie of [ACT. II 

tion commeth not within the compasse either of cunning or of 
colour. 
Alex. lVell, let it rest unperfect ; and corne you with mee where I6 S 
I will shew you that finished by nature that ),ou bave beene trifling 
about by art. 
[ Exeunt dlexander, Hepbestion, and .4pelles. 

Actus tertius. Scoena prima. * 
[Enter] APELLES, CAMPASPE [and a attIe behind tbem, PsLus.] 
dpeL Ladie, I doubt whether there bee any colour so fresh that 
may shadow a countenance so faire. 
Camp. Sir, 1 had thought you had bin commanded to paint with 
vour hand, not to glose  with vour tongue ; but as I have heard, it 
s the hardest thing in painting to set downe a hard favour, 3 which 
maketh vou to despaire of mv face ; and then 4 shall you bave as 
great thnkes to spare your labour as to discredit your art. 
dpeL Mistris, you neither differ from your selfe nor your sexe ; for, 
knowing your owne perfection, you seeme to disprayse that which 
men most commend, drawing them by that meane into an ad- 
miration where, feeding themselves, they fall into an extasie ; your 
modestie being the cause of the one, and of the other your affections. 
Camp. I ara ton young to understand your speech, though old 
enough to withstand vour devise. You have bin so long used to 
colours .v°u can doe nothing but colour.  
lpel Indeed the colours I see, I feare will alter the colour I 
bave.  But come, madam, will vou draw neere ?  for Alexander 
wiil be here anon. Psyllus, stay you here at the window. If any 
_=nquire for mee, answere, Non lubet esse dotal. 
I The house of Apelles : first inside, then in front. 
2 Flatter.  If you glve up in dmpalr. 
a Homely face.  Flatter. 
6 Longing, caused by her beauty, will take the coior from his face. 
7 BI. and later editor mark a new scene here. Stage direction in BI. ' PsTllm , Maries.' 

IO 

15 



.c. q l]exancler ancl Cam/as/e 3o3 

Psyllus. It is alwayes my masters fashion when anv faire gentle-2o 
woman is to be drawne within to make me to stay vithout. But 
if hee should paint Jupiter like a bull, like a swanne, like an eagle, 
then must Psyllus with one hand grind colours and with the other 
hold the candle. But let him alone! The better hee shadowes 
her face, the more will he burne his owne heart. And now if any 25 
man could meet with Manes, who, [ date say, lookes as leane as if 
Diogenes dropped out of his nose. 1 [Enter MArEs.] 
]l,lanes. And here comes Manes, who hath as much meate in his 
maw as thou hast honestie in thy head. 
Psyllus. Then I hope thou art very hungry. 3 ° 
]l,lanes. They that know thee know that. 
Psyllus. But doest thou hot remember that wee have certaine 
liquor to conferre withall. 
Alanes. I, but I have businesse; I must goe cry a thing. 
Psyllu. Vhy, what hast thou lost ? 35 
lanes. That which I never had,--my dinner! 
Psyllus. Foule lubber, wilt thou crie for thy dinner ? 
lanes. I meane I must crie,--not as one would say " crie," 
but "crie," 2 that is, make a noyse. 
Psvllus. XVhv foole, that is ail one; for, if thou crie, thou must4o 
needs make a novse. 
lanes. Boy, thou art deceived: crie bath divers significations, 
and mav be alluded to many things; knave but one, a and can be 
applyed'but to thee. 
Psvllus. Profound Manes ! 45 
J[anes. "Vee Cynickes are mad fellowes. Didst thou hot finde 
I did quip thee ? 
Psvllus. No, verily ! XVhy, what's a quip ? 
[anes. XVee great girders call it a short saying of a sharpe wit, 
with a bitter sense in a sweet word. 5 ° 
Psyllus. How canst thou thus divine, divide, define, d,spute, and 
ail on the sodaine ? 

 As lean as Diogenes himself? Query : ' Dropped him' ? 
iike as if he had been spit out of Iris mouth ç' for '* exact image." 
 Maries mimics each sound. 
a F. inserts to belote one. 

The phrase suggests, « As 
Kittreàge. 



304 1 Tragica]! Comedie of [^c-. m 

Manes. XVit will have his swing! I ara bewitcht, inspired, in- 
flamed, infected. 
Psyllus. Well then will I not tempt thy gybing spirit. 55 
lanes. Doe not, Psyllus, for thy dull head will bee but a grind- 
stone for my quicke wit, which if thou whet with overthwarts, 1 
periisti, actum est de te ! I have drawne bloud at ones braines with 
a bitter bob. 
Psyllus. Let me crosse my selle ; for I die if I crosse thee. 6o 
3Ianes. Let me doe my businesse. I my selfe am afraid lest 
my wit should waxe warme, and then must it needs consume some 
hard head with fine and prettie jests. I am sometimes in such a 
vaine that, for want of some duil pate to worke on, I begin to gird 
my selfe. 65 
Psyllus. The gods shield me from such a fine fellow, whose 
words melt wits like waxe. 
lanes. XVell then, let us to the matter. In faith, my master 
meaneth to morrow to file. 
Psyllus. It is a jest. 7 ° 
A4anes. Is it a jest to flie ? Shouldest thou flie so soone, thou 
shouldest repent it in earnest. 
Psyllus. XVelI, I will be the cryer. 
3Ianes and Psyllus (one after another). 0 ys [ O ys ! O ys ! Ail 
manner of men, women, or children, that will come to morrow 75 
into the market place betweene the houres of nine and ten shall see 
Diogenes the Cynicke--flie.  

lanes. 
Psyllus. 
lanes. 
night, -- I 
Psyllus. 
is open ? 
A4anes. 
Pyllu«. 

Impudent replies. 
Psyllus when he cornes to "file," breaks off incredulous. 

I doe not thinke he will flie. 
Tush, say "flie ! " 
Flie. 
Now let us goe; for I will hot see him againe till mid- 
have a backe way into his tub. 
Vhich way callest thou the backe way, when every way 
I meane to come in at his backe. 
Well, let us goe away, .that we may returne speedily. 
Exeunt. 
Manes gk'es the wor& 

80 

85 



c. al Ilexander and am])as/)e o s 

Actus tertius. Scoena secunda3 

['ntr] APELLES, CAMPASPEo 
¢pel. I shall never draw your eyes well, because they blinde 
mine? 
Camp. Why then, paint mee without eyes, for I ara blind, a 
fpd. Were you ever shadowed belote of any . 
Camp. No; and would you could so now shadow me that I 5 
might hOt be perceived of any. 4 
fpd. It were pitie but that so absolute 6 a face should furnish 
Venus temple amongst these pictures. 
Camp. What are these pictures ? 
/Ipd. This is Loeda, whom Jove deceived in likenesse or r a swan. Io 
Camp. A faire woman, but a foule deceit. 
/Ipd. This is Alcmena, unto whom Jupiter came in shape or r 
Amphitrion, ber husband, and begate Hercules. 
Camp. A famous sonne, but an infamous fact. 
fpel. Hee might doe it, because hee was a god. 15 
Camp. Nay, theret'ore it was evill done because he was a god. 
fpel. This is Danae, into whose prison Jupiter drizled a golden 
showre, and obtained his desire. 
Camp. What gold can make one yeeld to desire ? 
fpel. This is Europa, whom Jupiter ravished; this, Antiopa. 6 2o 
Camp. Were ail the gods like this Jupiter ? 
fpel. There were many gods in this like Jupiter. 
Camp. I thinke in those dayes love was well ratified among men 
on earth when lust was so full authorised by the gods in Heaven. 
fpel. Nay, you may imagine there were women passing amiable 2 5 
when there were gods exceeding amorous. 
1 Preceding editions tertia. The Studio of Apelles. 
z «« But ber eyes ! 
How could he sec to do them ? "' BI. of/-". III. il. 
a Does Campaspe playfully close her eyes here ? 
4 Pun : to paint and to hide. Campaspe is pming nude. 
6 Perfect. 
* Lyly is thinking of the work of Arachne, who challenged Minet'va to a trlal of tkàll with 
the needle» and represented the amours ofJupiter named. Ovid. l[eta. VI. !. 



306 

A Tragical! Comedie of 

[ACT. III 

Camp. 
Camp. 
Apet. 

X, Vere women never so faire, men would be false. 
X, Vere women never so false, men would be fond. 
x.Vhat counterfeit is this, Apelles ? 
This is Venus, the goddesse of love. 
x.Vhat, bee there also loving goddesses ? 
This is shee that hath power to command the very affec- 

tions of the heart. 
Camp. How is she hired,-- by prayer, by sacrifice, or bribes ? 
4pel. By prayer, sacrifice, and bribes. 35 
Camp. **çhat prayer ? 
4pel. Vowes irrevocable. 
Camp. X, Vhat sacrifice ? 
.,4pel. Hearts ever sighing, never dissembling. 
Camp. x, Vhat bribes ? 40 
/tpeL Roses and kisses. But were you never in love ? 
Camp. No; nor love in me. 
/tpeL Then have you injuried many. 
Camp. How so ? 
4pel. Because you have been loved of many. 45 
Camp. Flattered, perchance, of some. 
«¢pel. It is hot possible that a face so faire and a wit so sharpe, 
both without comparison, should hOt be apt to love. 
Camp. If you begin to tip your tongue with cunning, I pray dip 
your pensill in colours and rail to that you must doe, hOt that you 5o 
would doe. 

Actus tertius. Scoena tertia. 1 
[Enter] CLv-rus [and] PAgs, Ex.o. 
Clytus. Parmenio, I cannot tell how it commeth to passe that :n 
Alexander now a daves there groweth an unpatient kind of lire: 
in the morning he i melancholy, at noone solemne, at ail times 
either more sowre or severe than hee was accustomed. 
Par. In kings causes I rather love to doubt 2 than conjecture, 
I Preceding editions 7uarta. As M. notes, Apelles and Campaspe busy themsdves with the 
picture at one side of the stage. A new scene is hardly necessa O. BI. ' Clytus, Parmenio, 
Alexander, Hephestion» Cru, Diogenes, Apelles, Campaspe.'  Remain undecided. 



sc. mi llexander and Campaspe 307 

and thinke it better to bee ignorant than inquisitive: they bave 
long eares and stretched armes; 1 in whose heads suspition is a 
proofe, and to be accused is to be condemned. 
Clytu«. Yet betweene us there can bee no danger to find out the 
cause, for that there is no malice to withstand it. It may be an un- o 
quenchable thirst of conquering maketh him unquiet; it is hot 
unlikely his long ease bath altered his humour; that he should be 
in love, it is hot 2 impossible. 
Par. In love, Clytus ? No, no ; it is as farre from his thought 
as treason in ours. He, whose ever-waking eye, whose never-tired I5 
heart, whose body patient of labour, whose mind unsatiable of 
victorie, bath alwayes beene noted, cannot so soone be melted into 
the weake conceits of love. Aristotle told him there were man), 
worlds ; and that he bath hOt conquered one that gapeth for ail 
galleth Alexander. But here he cometh, zo 
[Enter ALEXANDER and HEPHESTION. ] 
/ilex. Parmenio and Clytus, I would bave vou both readie to 
goe into Persia about an ambassage no lesse profitable to me than 
to your selves honourable. 
Clytu«. XVee are readie at ail commands, wishing nothing else 
but continually to be commanded, z 5 
C/ex. XVell then, withdraw yourselves till I have further con- 
sidered of this matter. Exeunt Clytus and Parmenio. 
Now wee will see how Apelles goeth forward. I doubt mee that 
nature bath overcome art, and ber countenance his cunning. 
Hrp. You love, and therefore think anv thing. 3o 
/Ilex. But hot so farre in love with Campaspe as with Bucepha- 
lusoe if occasion serve either of conflict or 4 conquest. 
Hep. Occasion cannot want if will doe hot. Behold ail Persia 
swelling in the pride of their owne power, the Scythians carelesse 
what courage or fortune can do, the Egyptians dreaming in the ]5 
southsayings of their augures and gaping over the smoake of their 
beasts intralls. AIl these, Alexander, are to be subdued, if that 

The modern "long arm of the Law." 4 BI. ofl F. or of. 
BI. omits hot ; A. gives it. 
INortla's lutarcla» Nutt, IV. 303-304, 35x, 369-370. 

M. corfects as in text. 



308 

4 Tragfca// Comedie of [^cT. III 

world be not slipped out of your head which you bave sworne to 
conquer with that hand. 
Alex. 1 confesse the labour's fit for Alexander, and yet recrea-4o 
tion necessarie among so many assault% bloudie wound% intolerable 
troubles. Give me leave a little, if not to sit, yet to breath. And 
doubt not but Alexander can, when hee will, throw affections as 
farre from him as he can cowardise. But behold Diogenes talking 
with one at his tub. 1 45 
Cryms. One penny, Diogenes; I ara a Cynicke. 
Z)iog. Hee made thee a begger that first gave thee any thing. 
Cryms. %Vhy, if thou wih give nothing, no bodie will give thee. 
Diog. I want nothing till the springs drie and the earth perish. 
Crysus. I gather for the gods. 50 
Diog. And I care hot for those gods which want money. 
Crysus. Thou art hot a right z Cynick, that wilt give nothing. 
Diog. Thou art hot, that wih begge any thing. 
Crysus [crossing to /llexander]. Alexander ! King Alexander [ 
Give a poore Cynick a groat, a 55 
C/ex. h is hot for a king to give a groat. 
Crysus. Then give me a talent. « 
/llex. h is hot for a begger to aske a talent. Away! [Exit 
Crysus. Alexander crosses to the part of the stage opposite the tub of 
Diogenes where 4pelles and Campaspe are.] 60 
Apelles ! 5 
4pel. Here. 
/tlex. Now, gentlewoman, doth hot your beautie put the painter 
to his trumpe ? 
Camp. Yes, my lord, seeing so disordered a countenance, hee 
feareth hee shall shadow a deformed counterfeite. 65 
/llex. %Vould he could colour the lire with the feature! And 
mee thinketh, Apelles, were you as cunning as report saith you are, 

1 Diogenes enters before Crysus ; or, more probably, has been on the stage in his tub rince 
II. 1. See p. 3Ol. 
 In this and the next line, the speakers refer to the popular idea that truc Cynics despised 
a Fourpence. Often used for a very small sure. 
« In Atfica about $1ooo. 
6 As Alexander calls, he is suFposed to enter the bouse of ApeUes. Sec p. 3o6, note t. 



sc. mi 41exander and Campaspe 309 

you may paint flowres as well with sweet smels as fresh colours, 
observing in your mixture such things as should draw neere to their 
savours. 70 
4pel. Your Majestie must know, itis no lesse hard to paint 
savours than verrues ; colours can neither speake nor thinke. 
4lex. gVhere doe you first begin when you draw any picture ? 
4pd. The proportion of the face in just compasse as I can. 
4lex. I would begin with the eye, as a light to ail the test. 75 
./Ipel. If you will paint, as you are a king, Your Majestie may 
beginne where you please; but as you would bee a painter, you 
must begin with the face. 
41ex. Aurelius 1 would in one boute colour route faces. 
./Ipel. I marvaile in halfe an houre hee did not foure. 8o 
.4lex. Why, is it so easie ? 
.4pel. No; but he doth it so homely. 
.4lex. gVhen will you finish Cmpaspe ? 
.4peL Never finish; for alwayes in absolute beautv there is 
somewhat above art. 85 
.4lex. gVhy should not I by labour be as cunning as Apelles ? 
.4peL God shield you should have cause to be so cunning 9 as 
Apelles ! 
.4lex. Me thinketh foure colours are sufficient to shadow any 
countenance ; and soit was in the time of Phydias. a 9 ° 
./lpeL Then had men fewer fancies and women not so many 
favours? For now, if the haire of her eyebrowes be blacke, yet 
must the haire of her head be yellow ;  the attire of her head must 
bee different from the habit of her bodie, else would the picture 
seeme like the blazon of ancient armory, ° hot like the sweet delight 95 
of new-found amiablenesse.« For, as in garden knots 8 diversitie 

1 Arellius ? Mentioned, Holland, XXXV. Io. No painter Aurelius is known. 
 Pun : technical knowledge and manual skill, and guileful. Apelles thinks of his need to 
ronce.al his paon. 
 For the original ofthis sec Holland» XXXV. 7- 
4 Looks, with something of the sense of attractions. 
6 At this rime it was fashionable to dye the hair yellow in compliment to the natural ¢olor 
of the Queen's hair. F. 
¢ A description simple because ancient armour lacked the varied markings of Elizabethan 
¢oags-of-arm$. 
"/ Loveliness. 80mamental arrangements of flowet'-beds. 



31 o ./I Tragica]l Comedie of [,«T. i,I 

the rest 
llex. 
judge. 
.4pel. 
.41ex. 
.4pd. 
'Ilex. 
.4pd. 
.4lex. 
4pd. 
/t/ex. 
4pel. 
tlex. 

of odours make a more sweete savour, or as in musique divers 
strings cause a more delicate consent,' so, in painting, the more 
colours, the better counterfeit,--observing black for a ground, and 
for grace. 
Lend me thy pensill, Apelles; I will paint, and thou shalt 

I00 

Harmony. 
The charcoal with which Alexander is drawing. 
The old pictures were painted on wooden panels. 
For the suggestion for this scene, sec Holland» XXXV. xo. 
Go as 1 wish. 

Here. 
The coale z breakes. 
You leane too hard. 1o 5 
Now it blackes hot. 
You leane too sort. 
This is awrie. 
Your eve goeth hot with your hand. 
Now it is worse. 1 Iv. 
Your hand goeth hot with your minde. 
Nay, if ail be too hard or soft,--so many rules and 
regards that ones hand, ones eye, ones minde must ail draw 
together,--I had rather bee setting of a battell than blotting of 
a boord, a But how have I done here ? I I 5 
/fpel. Like a king. 
/flex. I thinke so; but nothing more unlike a painter. 4 Well, 
Apelles, Campaspe is finished as I wish. Dismisse her, and bring 
presently her counterfeit after me. 
lpel. I will. 120 
/tlex. [as he crosses the stage.] Now, Hephestion, doth not this 
matter cotton as I would ? 5 Cmpaspe looketh pleasantly ; libertie 
will encrease her beautie, and mv love shall advance her honour. 
Hep. I will not contrarie your Majestie; for rime must weare 
out that love hath wrought, and reason weane what appetite nursed. I 2. 
[ Campaspe passes on ber way to the farther door.] 
Ilex. How stately shee passeth bv, yet how soberly, a sweete 
consent in her countenance, with a chaste disdaine, desire mingled 



c. ,,,,] «q/exander and Campaspe 311 

with coynesse, and -- I cannot tell how to terme it--a curst, yeeld- 
ing modesty !  
Hep. Let ber passe. 
C/ex. So shee shall for the fairest on the earth ! 
Exeunt [ /tlexander and Hepbestion at one side of tbe stage, lpelles at tbe otber. ] 

3 o 

Psyllus. 
Ianes. 

Actus tertius. Scoena quarta.  

[Enter] PSYLLU$ [ani] MANES. 

Psyllus. Away, Manes, my master doth corne. 
/ipeL ,Vhere bave you beene ail this while ? 
Psyllus. Nowhere but here. 
/ipeL Vho was here sithens my comming ? 
Psyllus. Nobodie. 

I shall be hanged for tarrying so long. 
I pray God my master be not flowne before I corne ! 
[Enter lpelles. ] 
[Exit Manes.] 

/ipel. Ungracious wag, I perceive you have beene a loytering! 
Was Aiexander nobodie ? 
Psyllus. He was a king, I meant no mean bodie. IO 
/ipel. I will cudgeli your bodie for it, and then will I say it was 
no bodie, because it was no honest bodie. Away, in [ Exit Psyllus. 
Unfortunate Ape|les, and therefore unfortunate because Apelles[ 
Hast thou by drawing her beautie brought to passe that thou canst 
scarce draw thine owne breath ? And by so much the more hast 15 
thou increased thv care bv how much the more hast thoua shewed 
thv cunning ? Was it hOt sufficient to beho|d the tire and warme 
thee, but with Satvrus thou must kisse the tire and burne thee? 
O Campaspe, Campaspe[ Art must yeeld to nature, reason to 
appetite, wisdome to affection [ Could Pigmalion entreate by prayer 2o 
l l ' ' Modesty tempered in yielding by a contrasting emotion." F. 
2 Preceding editions uinta. Before the house of Apelles. Is a division needed ? Apelles 
might remain when Alexander and Hephestion leave, and just belote Psyllus cries " Away 
Maries," see his page and move toward him. BI. * Psyllus, Manes, Apelles.' 
a BI. Hast tbou bau. F. and M. strike out the first bast. Is it hot more likely that the 
second is the mistake ? 



/1 Tra, çica]! Comeatie of [ACT. 

to have his ivorv turned into flesh, and cannot Apelles obtaine by 
plaints to bave the picture of his love changed to lire ? Is painting 
so farre inferiour to carving ? Or dost thou, Venus, more delight 
to bee hewed with chizels then shadowed with colours ? ,Vhat 
Pigmalion, or what Pyrgoteles, or what Lysippus is hee,  that ever 25 
made thv face so faire or spread thy lame so farre as I ? Unlesse, 
Venus, in this thou enviest mine art, that in colouring my sweet 
Campaspe I bave left no place by cunning to make thee so ami- 
able. z But, alas, shee is the paramour to a prince ! Alexander, the 
monarch of the earth, bath both ber body and aff'ection. For what 3o 
is it that kings cannot obtaine by prayers, threats, and promises ? 
x, Vill not shee thinke it better to sit under a cloth of estate  like a 
queene than in a poore shop like a huswife, and esteeme it sweeter 
to be the concubine of the lord of the world than spouse to a painter 
in Athens ? Yes, yes, Apelles, thou maist swimme against the35 
streame with the crab, and feede against the winde with the deere, 
and peck against the steele with the cockatrice : 4 starres are to be 
Iooked at, not reached at; princes tobe yeelded unto, hot con- 
tended with ; Çampaspe to be honoured, not obtained ; to be painted, 
not possessed of thee. O faire face! O unhappy hand! And why 4.o- 
didst thou drawe it--so faire a face ? O beautifull countenance, 
the expres image of Venus, but somwhat fresher, the only patterne 
of that eternitie which Jupiter dreaming, asleepe, could not con- 
ceive againe waking! Blush, Venus, for I ara ashamed to ende 
thee! Now must I paint things unpossible for mine art but agree-4,5 
able with mv aff'ections, -- deepe and hollow sighes, sad and melan- 
cholie thouhtes, woundes and slaughters of conceits, a lire posting 
to death, a death galloping from lire, a wavering constancie, an un- 
setled resolution, and what not, Apelles ? And what but Apelles ?  
I  Alexander streightly f0rbad by express edict, that no man should draw his portrait in col- 
ours but Apelles the painter : that none should engrave his personage but Pyrgoteles, the graver : 
and last of ail, that no workman should cast his image in brasse but Lysippus a founder," 
Holland, VIl. . 
2 Apelles addresses here and in I. 44 a picture of Venus, which he really left unfinished. Ilol- 
hnd, XXXV.  . 
a Canopy. 
4 Basilisk, Holland, VIII. z. 
6 ,, Do I say paint what hot (what is hot) Apelles ? What are ail these --sighs, wounds» 
etc., but Ap¢lle himself?" 



. ,,,,] llexander and Campaspe 3 1 3 

But as they that are shaken with a feaver are to be warmed with 5 ° 
cloathes, hot groanes, and as he that melteth in a consumption is 
to be recured by colices, 1 hot conceits, so the feeding canker of my 
care, the never-dying worme of my heart, is to be killed by coun- 
sell, hot cries, by applying of remedies, hot by replying of reasons. 
And sith in cases desperate there must be used medicines that are 55 
extreame, I will hazard that little lire that is left, to restore the 
greater part that is lost ; and this shall be my first practise, -- for 
wit must worke where authoritie is not,--as soone as Alexander 
bath viewed this portraiture, I will by devise give it a blemish, that 
by that meanes she may corne againe to my shop; and then as6o 
good it were to utter my love and die with deniall as conceale it 
and live in dispaire. 
SONG BY APELLE$. 
Cupid and my Campaspe playd 
Atcardes for kisses; Cupid payd. 
He stakes his quiver, bow, and arrows, 65 
His mothers dores, and teeme of sparows ; 
Looses them, too. Then, downe he throwes 
The corrall of his lippe, the rose 
Growing on's cheek,- but none knows how,-- 
With these, the cristall of his brow, 7 o 
And then the dimple of his chinne; 
Ail these did my Campaspe winne. 
At last, hee set her both his eyes ; 
Shee won, and Cupid blind did fise. 
0 love ! has shee done this to thee ? 75 
What shall, alas, become of mee . [Exit/t?elles.] 

1 u, strengthening ellies. 



3  4 1 Traica[! Comedie of [^c. m 

Actus quartus. Scœena prima. 1 
[..te.] SoL,vs, PsLvs, [.a] 
Sol. This is the place, the day, the rime, that Diogenes hath 
appointed to file. 
Psyllus. I will hot loose the flight of so faire a foule as Diogenes 
is though mv toaster cudgell mv no body as he threatned. 
Gran. Vhat, Fsyllus, will the beast wag his wings to day ? 5 
[Enter Manes. ] 
Psvllus. Vee shall heare; for here commeth Manes. Manes 
will it be ? 
,]lanes Be? He were best be as cunning as a bee or else 
shortly he will hot bee at all. 
Gran. How is hee furnished to file ? Hath he feathers ? o 
AIanes Thou art an asse[ Capons, geese, and owles, bave 
feathers. He hath round Dedalus old waxen wings,Z and hath 
beene peecing them this moneth, he is so broad in the shoulders. 
O, you shall see him cut the avre even like a tortovs 
SoL ,le thinkes so wise a man should hOt bee so mad; his body 
must needs be too heavie. 
AIanes. .Vhy, hee bath eaten nothing this seven night but corke 
and feathers. 
Pvllus [aside]. Touch him, 4 ,lanes. 
lllanes. Hee is so light that hee can scarce keepe him from flying 
at midnight. Populus intrat. 
,|Ianes. See they begin to flocke, and, behold, my master bustels 
himselfe to flie. [Tbe draw nearer tbe tuk.] 
Diog.  N'ou wicked and bewitched Athenian-s, whose bodies make 
the earth to groane, and whose breathes infect the ayre with stench, 
corne ve to see Diogenes file ? Diogenes commeth to see you sinke. 
Yea,  call me dogge! So I ara, for I long to gnaw the bons in 
your skins. Yee tearme me an hater of men! No, I ara a hater 
 The market-place. M.  BI. adds * Manes, Diogenes, Populut.' 
s Ovid, l[eta. VIII.  Guy him. 
 DiogenoE bas prohably been in his tub since hs dialogue with Crysu% p. 
6 M. suggest ' Y'e¢." Sec next line. 



sc. ] 4]exander and Çam2as/e 3  5 

of your manners. Your lires, dissolute, hOt fearing death, will 
prove your deaths desperat, hOt hoping for life. Vhat do you else 30 
in Athens but sleepe in the day and surfeit in the night,--backe-gods 
in the morning with pride, in the evening belly-gods with gluttony ! 
You flatter kings, and call them gods. Speak truth of vour selves 
and confesse you are divels! From the bee you hare "taken, hOt 
the honey, but the wax, to make your religion, framing it to the 35 
time, hot to the truth. Your filthy lust you colour under a courtly 
colour of love, injuries abroad under the title of policies at home; 
and secret malice creepeth under the name of publike.justice. You 
bave caused Alexander to drie up springs and plant vines, to sow 
rocker and weed endifi; 1 to sheare sheepe, and shrine 2 foxes. Ail 4 ° 
conscience is sealed a at Athens: swearing commeth of a hot met- 
tle; lying of a quick wit; flatterv of a flowing tongue; undecent 
talke of a merry disposition. )kll things are lawfull at Athens: 
either you think there are no gods, or I must think ve are no men. 
You build as though you should lire for ever and su'rfeit as though 45 
Vou should die to morrowe. None teacheth true philosophie but 
Aristotle, because hee was the kings schoole-master! O times! 
O men ! O corruption in manners ! Remember that greene grasse 
must turne to drie hay. XVhen you sleepe, you are hOt sure to wake ; 
and when vou fise, hot certaine to lie downe. Looke vou never so 5o 
high, your heads must lie level with your feet. Thus have I flowne 
over 4 your disordered lires; and if you will hot amend vour man- 
nets, I will studie to flie further from you, that I may bee neerer to 
honestie.  
Sol. Thou ravest, Diogenes, for thy lire is different from thy 55 
words. Did hOt I see thee corne out of a brothell bouse ? Vas it 
not a shame ? 
Diog. It was no shame to goe out, but a shame to goe in, 
Gran. It were a good deede, Manes, to beate thv toaster. 
A4anes. You were as good eate my master. 60 
One of the People. Hast thou ruade us ail fooles, and wilt thou hOt 
flie ? 

Sow the inedible and weeà out the edible. * Shut up as if precious. 
" In filconry ealed means blinded.'" Do.  Railed at. 
For conduct of Diogenes similar to this scene sec Li,es oJ Pbilosopbers, VI. 4o5. 



36 

.,4 Tragicall Comedie of [^«. lIll 

his back. 
Diog. 
People. 
Diog. 

I tell thee, unlesse thou be honest, I will flie. 1 
Dog, dog, take a bone! 
"Fhv father need feare no dogs, but dogs thy father? 65 
Ve will tell Alexander that thou reprovest him behinde 

And I will tell him that you flatter him before his face. 
gVee wili cause ail the boyes in the streete to hisse at thee. 
Indeede, I thinke the Athenians have their children readie 70 

for an)' vice, because they bee Athenians. 
[ Exeunt Populu and 8olinu. ] 
llanes. XVhy, master, meane you not to flie ? 
Diog. No, Manes, hOt w'thout wings. 
lanes. Everybody will account 7ou a lyar. 
Diog. No, I warrant you, fer I wiil alwayes say the Athenians 75 
are mischevous. 
Psdlus. I care not; it was sport enough for mee to see these old 
huddles 8 hit home. 
Gran. Nor I. 
Psyllus. Come, let us goe; and hereafter when I meane to rayle 80 
upon any body openly, it shall bee given out, I will flie. Exeunt. 

Actus quartus. Scoena secunda. 4 
[Enter] CAMPASPE. .5 
Camp. sola. Campaspe, itis hard to judge wbetber thy cboyce 
be more unwise or thv chance unfortunate. Doest thou preferre 
--but stay, utter hot that in wordes which maketh thine eares to 
glow with thoughts. Tush, better thv tongue wagge than thy 
heart breake! Hath a painter crept further into thy minde than a 
prince ;-- Apeiles, than Aiexander ? Fond wencb, the basenes of 
1 Diogenes refers to II. 5o-54, p. 315" Throughout Diogenes is very like a Cynic as 
describeà in Lucian's " Sale of the Philosophers.'" 
-2 Diogenes, thinking of himself as older than most of the crowd and wiser than any, names 
himself apparentl), in ' thy father.' «' Diogenes need fear no ours like you but you need fear 
a rating ffom me.'" 
s Decrepit persons. 
4 A room in the palace. M. Why hot the house of Apelles, into which the painter and 
Campaspe go after the last lines of the scene ?  BI. ' Campaspe, Apelles.' 



sc..] llexander and Campaspe 3 t 7 

thy minde bewraies the meannesse of thv birth. But, alas, affec- 
tion is a tire which kindleth as well 1 in trie bramble as in the oake, 
and catcheth hold where it first lighteth, hOt where it may best 
burne. Larkes, that mount aloft in the ayre, build their neasts o 
below in the earth ; and women that cast their eyes upon kings may 
place their hearts upon vassals. A needle will become thy fingers 
better than a lute, and a distaffe is fitter for thy hand than a scepter. 
Antes live safely till they bave gotten wings, and juniper is not 
blowne up till it bath gotten an high top: the meane estate is with-  5 
out care as long as it continueth without pride. [Enter/Ipelles.] 
But here commeth Apelles, in whom I would there were the like 
affection. 
/lpel. Gentlewoman, the misfortune I had with your picture will 
put you to some paines to sit againe to be painted, zo 
Camp. It is small paines for mee to sit still, but infinite for you 
to draw still. 
/lpel. No, madame; to painte Venus was a pleasure, but to 
shadow the sweete face of Campaspe, it is a heaven ! 
Camp. If your tongue were made of the same flesh that your 2 5 
heart is, your words would bee as your thoughts are; but, such a 
common thing it is amongst you to commend that oftentimes for 
fashion sake you call them beautifull whom you know blacke. 

4pel. 
Camp. 
/lpd. 
Camp. 
Camp. 
.,'tpd. 

XVhat might men doe to be beleeved ? 
XVhet their tongue on their hearts. ]o 
So they doe, and speake as they thinke. 
I would they did! 
I would they did hOt! 
XVhy, would you bave them dissemble . 
Not in love, but their love.z But will you give mee leave 35 

to aske you a question without offence ? 
Camp. So that you will answere mee another without excuse. 
./lpeL XVhom doe you love best in the world ? 
Camp. He that made me last in the world. 
./lpel. That was a god. 

BI.   aswell. ' 
«« Apelles would bave no dissembllng in real love, but only in the sîmulated love he 
dcpie.'" F. 



318 

1 Tragica]] Comedie of [^cT. ,iii 

Camp. I had thought it had beene a man. But whom doe you 
honour most, Apelles ? 
lpel. The thing that is likest you, Campaspe. 
Camp. My picture ? 
lpel. I dare hOt venture upon your person. But come, let us45 
go in ; for Alexander will thinke it long till we returne. Exeunt. 

Actus quartus. Scoena tertia. 1 

[Enter] CI,'¢TOS [and] PAIMErIO. 

Clytus. We heare nothing of our embassage,--a colour  belike 
Lo bleare our eyes or tickle our eares or inflame our hearts. But 
what doth Alexander in the meane season but use for tantara,--sol, 
fa, la;  for his hard couch, downe beds; for his handfull of water, 
his standing-cup of wine ? 4 5 
Par. Clytus, I mislike this new delicacie and pleasing peace, 
for what else do we see now than a kind of sofmes in every mans 
minde : bees to make their hives in souldiers helmets ;6 our steeds 
furnished with footclothes of gold, insteede of sadles of steele ; 
more time to be required to scowre the rust of our weapons than lo 
there was wont to be in subduing the countries of our enemies. 
Sithence Alexander fell from his hard armour to his soft robes, 
behold the face of his court: vouths that were wont to carry 
devises of victorv in their shiek]s engrave now posies of love in 
their ringes; they that were accustomed on trotting horses to I 5 
charge the enemie with a launce, now in easie coches ride up and 
down to court ladies; in steade of sword and target to hazard their 
lires, use pen and paper to paint their Ioves; yea, such a feare and 
faintnesse is growne in court that they wish rather to heare the 
blowing of a horne to hunt than the sound of a trumpet to fight. 2o 

 The palace. M.  Pretext. 
a ,, For the sound of the war trumpet, the volte of the singer." F. 
• A large and usually ornamental drinking cup, made especially for the dresser or sideboard. 
The chier guest at an entertainment or the prefiding dignitary was served from it. 
 An engraving in Alciati's Emblems, representing bees swarming into the face-guard of a 
helmet probably proided this simile. F 



Se, IIII] 41exander and Campaspe 319 

O Philip, wert thou alive to see thls alteration,--thy men turned 
to women, thy souldiers to loyers, gloves worne in velvet caps, 1 in 
stead of plumes in graven helmets,--thou wouldest either dye 
among them for sorrow or counfound z them for anger. 
Clytus. Cease, Parmenio, least in speaking what becommeth thee 2 5 
hOt, thou feele what liketh thee hOt: truth is never with out a 
scracht face i whose tongue although it cannot be cut out, yet 
must it be tied up. 
Par. It grieveth me not a little for Hephestion, who thirsteth 
for honour, hOt ease; but such is his fortune and neernesse in 3 ° 
friendship to Alexander that hee must lay a pillow under his head 
when hee would put a target in his hand. But let us draw in, to 
see how well it becomes them to tread the measures in a daunce a 
that were wont to set the order for a march. £xeunt. 

Actus quartus. Scoena quarta. 4 

[Enter] APELLES [/?/d] CAMPASPE. 

Camp. 
Camp. 
/lpel. 
Camp. 

I have now, Campaspe, almost made an ende. 
You told mee, Apelles, you would never end. 
Never end my love, for it shal be 5 eternall. 
That is, neither to bave beginning nor ending. 
You are disposed to mistake; I hope you do hOt mistrust. 
What will you say, if Alexander perceive your love ? 
I will say it is no treason to love. 
But how if hee will hOt surfer thee to see my person ? 

fpeL Then will I gaze continually on thy picture. 
Camp. That will hOt feede thy heart. 
Apel. Yet shall it fill mine eye. Besides, the sweet thoughts, 
the sure hopes, thy protested faith, wil cause me to embrace thy 
shadow continually in mine armes, of the which by strong imagina- 
tion I will make a substance. 

1 Gloves were worn in the hat for three purposes,  as the favor of a mistress, the memorlal 
of a friend and as a mark to challenge an enemy. 
• 2 Destroy. a To dance in a slow and stately fashion. 
4 Studio of Apelles.  BI.» one word. 

IO 



320 1 Tra, fficall Comedie of [A«-. IIII. SC. IIII] 

Camp. ,Vel, I must be gone. But this assure your selle, that I 15 
had rather be in thy shop grinding colours than in Alexander's 
court following higher fortunes. [/Is she crosses the stage 1] Foolish 
wench, what hast thou done ? That, alas, which cannot be undone ; 
and therefore I feare me undone. But content is such a life; I 
care not for aboundance. O Apelles, thy love commeth from the 2o 
heart but Alexander's from the mouth! The love of kings is like 
the blowing of winds, which whistle sometimes gently among the 
leaves and straight waies turne the trees up by the rootes; or tire, 
which warmeth afarre off, and burneth neere hand or the sea, 
which maketh men hoise their sailes in a flattering calme, and to 2 5 
cut their mastes in a rough storme. They place affection by times, 
by policy, by appoyntment. If they frowne, who dates call them 
unconstant ; if bewray secrets, who will tearme them untrue; if 
rail to other loves, who trembles not, if hee call them unfaithfull ? 
In kings there can bee no love but to queenes; for as neere must 3o 
they meete in majestie as they doe in affection. It is requisite to 
stand aloofe from kings love, Jove, and lightening. Exit. 
tpeL 9" Now, Apelles, gather thy wits together. Campaspe is no 
/esse wise then faire ; thy selle must be no lesse cunning then faith- 
full. a It is no small matter to be rivall with Alexander. 
[Enter PaçE af ALEXANDER.] 
Page. Apelles, you must come away quickly with the picture 
the king thinketh that now )'ou have painted it, you play with it. 
IpeL If I would play with pictures, I have enough at home. 
Page. None, perhaps, you like so well. 
IpeL It may be I have painted none so well. 40 
Page. I bave knowen many fairer faces. 
Ipel. And I many better boyes. Exeu»t. 

I Preceding edi6ons, following BI., read ' Campaspe alone." Itis much more natural to 
suppose that while she is crossing the stage, Apelles lingers on one side watching her. When 
she goes out, he speaks. 
2 Preceding editions, ..1, tus uartus. Scna c]utnta i BI. « Apelles, Page." 
a Sec note z, p. ]o 9. 



[«. . . ,] l/exander and Campaspe 

Actus quintus. Scoena prima? 

[Enter] S:,.,.v. P.,. M,.o.T.,co. [and] 
en bis t#. ] * 

8yL I have brought my sons, Diogenes, to be taught of thee. 
Diog. What can thy sonnes do ? 
8yL You shall see their qualities. 

Dance, sirha ! 
Tben Perim dancetb. 

How like you this ? Doth he well ? 
Diog. The better, the worser.a 5 
SvL The musicke very good. 
Diog. The musitions very bad, who onely study to have their 
strings in tune, never framing their manners to order. 
Syl. Now shall you see the other. Tumble, sirha[ 
3lilo tumbletb. 
How like ,ou this ? XVhy do you laugh ? fo 
Diog. qïo see a wagge that was borne to breake his neck by 
destinie to practise it by art. 
Iilo. This dogge will bite me; I will hot be with him. 
Diog. Feare hot boy; dogges eate no thistles. 
Perim. I marvell what dogge thou art, if thou be a dogge. 5 
Diog. Vhen I am hungry, a mastife ; and when my belly is 
full a spannell. 
SvL Dost thou beleeve that there are any gods that thou art 
so dogged ? 
Diog. I must needs beleeve there are gods for I thinke thee an 2o 
enemie to them. 
8yL Vhy so ? 
Diog. Because thou hast taught one of thy sonnes to rule his 
legges and hot to follow learning, the other to bend his bodie every 
way and his minde no way. 2 5 
Perim. Thou doest nothing but snarle and barke, like a dogge. 
1 The market-phce. M.  BI. purs « Diogenes" belote  Sylviu.' 
* For the originals of this and the first, third, fourth, fifth and sixth of Diogenes's speeche 
which follow ee Lies of Pbilosopbers» VI. 406, 45 417, 4I$ 4z4 4z$ 411. 
 Dost thou hot  
¥ 



322 

1 Tragicall Comedie of 

[ACT. V 

Diog. It is the next 1 way to drive away a theefe. 
8;'L Now shall vou heare the third, who sings like a nightingale. 
Diog. I care not; for I have a nightingale to sing  ber selfe. 
8yL Sing, sirha ! 

TRa'co ingeth. 

3 o 

SONG. 8 
/Chat 4 bird so sings yet so dos wayle ? 
O 'ris the ravish'd  nightingale. 
"Jug, jug, jug, jug, tereu," shee ces ; 
And still her woes at midnight rise. 
Brave prick song,  who is't now we heare 
None but the larke so shrill and cleare. 
How at heavens gars 7 she claps her wings, 
The morne not waking till shee sings [ 
Heark, heark, with what a pretty throat 
Poore Robin Red-breast tunes his note! 
Heark how the jolly cuckoes sing 
"Cuckoe," to welcome in the spring; 
« Cuckoe," to welcome in the spring. 

35 

4o 

8yL Loe, Diogenes[ I am sure thou canst not doe so much. 
Diog. But there is never a thrush but can. 
8yl. ,Vhat hast thou taught Manes, thy man ? 

45 

] Readiest. - BI. omits to. F. and M. insert it. Query, ' ings" ? 
8 Of course the Song falls into tbree stanzas, witb dirisions at ll.., .9- I Gen. Ed. 
 These fines illustrate well how the memory of Shakespeare caught and heid the best in tbe 
fines of others. Here, scattered through several fines, is the ftrst line of the well-known song 
in C)'mbeline : - 
" None but the iarke so shrill and cleare. 
How at bea,ens gars sbe claps ber ings, 
The morne hot waking t]ll she sings! 
I 
Heark, heark, with what a pretty throat 
Poore Robin Red-breast tunes his note !'" 

 Not only enraptured, but  it reference to the storv of Philomela, Oid, llZeta. VI. 
e Warbler.  ' Gare" as in Shakespeare ? The ' s" from ' she" ? 



sc..] llexanaler and Campaspe 3 z 3 

Diog. To be as unlike as may be thy sons. 
Il/fanes. He hath taught me to fast, lie hard, and run away. 
Svl. How sayest thou, Perim, wilt thou bee with him ? 
Perim. I, so he will teach me first to runne away. $o 
Diog. Thou needest hot be taught, thy legges are so nimble. 
8yl. How sayest thou, Milo, wilt thou be with him ? 
Diog. Nay, hold your peace; hee shall hot. 
8yl. why . 
Diog. There is not roome enough for him and me to tumble 55 
both in one tub. 
SyL Well, Diogenes, I perceive my sonnes brooke not thy 
manners. 
Diog. I thought no lesse, when they knew my vertues. 
SyL Farewell, Diogenes ; thou neededst not have scraped rootes, 60 
if thou wouldst bave followed Alexander. 
Diog. Nor thou have followed Alexander, if thou hadst scraped 
rootes, a Exeunt lai1 except Diogene.] 

Actus quintus. Scoena secunda.  

Enter AvEEs. 

/]pd. I feare mee, Apelles, that thine eyes have blabbed that 
which thy tongue durst hOt! XVhat little regard hadst thou! 
XVhilest Alexander viewed the counterfeit of Campaspe, thou 
stoodest gazing on her countenance. If he espie or but suspect, 
thou must needs twice perish,--with his hate and thine owne love. 
Thy pale lookes when he blushed, thy sad countenance when he 
smiled, thy sighes when he questioned, may breed in him a jelousie, 
perchance a frenzie. O love! I never before knew what thou 
wert, and now hast thou made me that I know hot what my selle 
am! Onely this I know, that I must endure intolerable passions 
for unknowne pleasures. Dispute not the cause, wretch, but yeeld 
toit ; for better it is to melt with desire than wrastle with love. 

FOr the original of this sec LieJ of Pbilosopbers VI. 4z6. 
Studio of Apelles. 8 BI. and later editors lpelles alon¢. 



32¢ l Traica]! Cmedie off [^c.  

Cast thv selle on thv carefull bed; be content to live unknown, 
and dieunfound. 1 6 Campaspe, I have painted thee in my heart! 
Painted ? Nay, contrarv to mine arte, imprinted ; and that in such 15 
deepe characters that nothing can rase it out, unlesse it rubbe my 2 
heart out. Exit. 

Actus quintus. Scoena tertia, s 
[Enter] MILEC'rU, PmtYG,us, [and] LAIS.' [DIoGNF.S 
kIil. h shall goe hard but this peace shall bring us some pleasure. 
Phry. Downe with armes, and up with legges ! This is a world 
for the nonce ! 6 
Lais. Sweet youths, if you knew 6 what it were to save your 
sweet blood, vou would hot so foolishly go about to spend it. 5 
-What delight can there be in gashing, to make foule scarres in faire 
faces, and crooked maimes in streight legges, as though men, being 
borne goodly bv nature, would of purpose become deformed by 
folly, -- and all forsooth for a new-found tearme, called valiant, 
a word which breedeth more quarrels than the sense can comrnen- lO 
dation ? 
kIil. h is true, Lais, a feather-bed hath no fellow. Good drinke 
makes good blood, and shall pelting 7 words spill it ? 
Phry. I meane to enjoy the world, and to draw out my life at 
the wire-drawers ; hOt to curtall it off at the cutlers, i 
Lais. You mav talke of warre, speake bigge, conquer worlds 
with great words; but stay at home, where in steade of alarums 
you shall have dances, for hot battailes with tierce men, gentle 
skirmishes with faire women. These pewter coates 8 can never sit 
so well as satten doublets. Beleeve me, you cannot conceive the 
pleasure of peace unlesse you despise the rudenes of warre. 
k/ïl. It is so. But see Diogenes prying over his tub ! Diogenes 
what sayest thou to such a morsell ? [Pointing to Lais.] 

,, Be content to live wlth thy love unexpressea, and to cee with |t undioverecl.'" 
Quartos and BI. tby. Corrected by Do.  For the purpose. 8 Steel c 
The rnarket-phce. M. 6 BI. 
BI. adds ' Diogen¢s.'  Contemptible. 



sc. ,,,,] llexander and Campaspe 325 

Diog. I say I would spit it out of my mouth, because it should 
not poyson my stomacke. 25 
Phry. Thou speakest as thou art; it is noe meate for dogges. 
Diog. I am a dogge» and philosophy rates I me from carrion. 
Lais. Uncivil wretch» whose manners are answerable to thy 
calling, the time was thou wouldest have had my company» had it 
not beene» as thou saidst» too deare. 3o 
Diog. I remember there was a thing that I repented mee of, and 
now thou hast tolde it. Indeed» it was too deare of nothing» and 
thou deare to no bodie. 
Lais. Downe, villaine, or I will have thy head broken [ 
11Iil. Vill you couch ? 3 35 
Phry. Avant» curre! Corne» sweet Lays» let us goe to some 
place and possesse peace. But first let us sing; there is more 
pleasure in tuning of a voyce» than in a volly of shot. [.4 8ong.] 
1;l. Now let us make hast» least Alexander finde us here[ 
Exeunt [allexcept »iogenes. ] 

Actus quintus. Scoena quarta.* 
tEnter ALEXaNDER, HEPi-IESTION, [and] PAGE. " [DIOGENES is in lais tub.] 
/]lex. Methinketh» Hephestion» you are more melancholy ff, an 
you were accustomed; but I perceive itis ail for Alexander. You 
can neither brooke this peace nor my pleasure. Bee of good cheare ; 
though I winke» I sleepe hot. 
Hep. Melancholv I am noh nor well content; for, I know hot 
how, there is such a rust crept into my bones with this long ease 
that I feare I shall hot scowre it out with infinite labours. 
/llex. Yes» yes, if ail the travailes of conquering the world will 
set either thy bodie or mine in tune» we will undertake them. But 
what thinke you of Apelles ? Did yee ever see anv so perplexed ? 
He neither answered directly to any question, nor loked stedfastly 
upon any thing. I hold mv lire the painter is in love. 
1 In Kent rate is used for c.all away ! off. F. n Milectus threatens to strike Diogenes. 
* If nothing were paid. 4 The market-place. M. 
 BI- adds ' Diogenea, Apelles, Campaspe." 



3z6 1 Tragicall Comedie of [^«. v 

Hep. It may be; for commonly we see it incident in artificers 
to be enamoured of their owne workes, as Archidamus of his 
wooden dove, Pygmalion of his ivorie image, 1 Arachne of herx 5 
woven swanne, 9 --especially painters, who playing with their owne 
conceits, now coveting 3 to draw a glancing eie, then a rolling, now 
a winking, still mending it, never ending it, till they be caught with 
it, and then, poore soules, they kisse the colours with their lips, 
with which before they were loth to taint their fingers. .o 
4lex. I will find it out. Page, goe speedily for Apelles. Will 
him to corne hither; and when you see us earnestly in talke, 
sodainly crie out, « Apelles shop is on tire ! " 
Page. It shall be done. 
4lex. Forget hot your lesson. [Exit Page.] $ 
Hep. I marvell what your devise shal be. 
4lex. The event shall prove. 
Hep. I pittie the poore painter if he be in love. 
4lex. Pitie him hot, I pray thee. That severe gravity set aside, 
what doe you thinke of love ? 30 
Hep. As the Macedonians doe of their hearbe beet,--which 
looking yellow in the ground and blacke in the hand, -- thinke it 
better seene than toucht. 
./llex. But what doe you imagine it to be ? 
Hep. A word, by superstition thought a god, by use turned to35 
an humour, by selfe-will ruade a flattering madnesse. 
./llex. You are too hard-hearted to thinke so of love. Let us 
goe to Diogenes. [Tbey cross tbe stage.] Diogenes, thou mayst 
thinke it somewhat that Alexander commeth to thee againe so soone. 
Diog. If you come to learne, you could hot come soone enough;4o 
if to laugh, you be come too soone. 
Uep. It would better become thee to be more courteous and 
frame thy self to please. 
Diog. And you better to bee lesse, if you durst displease. 
4lex. What doest thou thinke of the tire_ • we have here ? 4-.$ 
Diog. That we have little and lose much. 

10vid, Meta. X. 9" 
 Earlier editions, bis zuood¢n j'zuanne, borrowlng the first two words from the line above. 
See note, p. 3o. I M. guggets « covet." 



sc. m,] llexander and Campaspe 

Diog. 
41ex. 
con ten t 
Diog. 
4lex. 
Diog. 
4lex. 

If one be sicke what wouldst thou have him doe ? 
Bee sure that hee make hot his physician his heire. 
If thou mightest bave thy will, how much ground would 
thee ? 
As much as you in the end must be contented withall 
What, a world ? 
No, the length of my bodie. 
[acide]. Hephestion, shall I bee a little pleasant with him ? 

5o 

Hep. [aside]. You may i but hee will be very perverse with you. 55 
Ilex. [aside] It skils hot ; 1 I cannot be angry with him. Diog- 
enes, I pray thee what doest thou thinke of love ? 
Diog. A little worser than I can of hate. 
.,¢lex. And why ? 
Diog. Because it is better to hate the things which make to love 60 
than to love the things which give occasion of hate. 
41ex. ,Vhy, bee not women the best creatures in the world ? 
Diog. Next men and bees. 
41ex. What doest thou dislike chiefly in a woman ? 
Diog. One thing. 6 5 
.dlex. What ? 
Diog. That she is a woman 
ltlex. In mine opinion thou wert never borne of a woman that 
thou thinkest so hardly of women. [Enter ltpelles.] But now 
commeth Apelles, who I ara sure is as farre from thy thoughts as 70 
thou art from his cunning. Diogenes I will have thy cabin  re- 
moved neerer to my court because I will be a philosopher. 
Diog. And when you have done so I pray you remove your 
court further from my cabin, because I will hot be a courtier. 
ltlex. But here commeth Apelles. Apelles, what peece of work 75 
have you now in hand ? 
IpeL None in hand, if it like your Majestie; but I am devising 
a platforme z in my head. 
4lex. I thinke your hand put it in your head. Is it nothing 
about Venus ? 8o 

I A.  skilleth.' 
s In Lyly's time ' cabin" seems to have been used vaguely for any rude dwelling. 
| A sketch for a picture, or the plan for a bu]lding. F. 



3z8 A Tragical! Comedie of [^c-. v 

IpeL No, but something above 1 Venus. [The Page rum in.] 
Page. Apelles, Apelles, looke aboute1 you! Your shop is on 
tire ! 
Ipel. [starting off]. Aye mee, if the picture of Campaspe be 
burnt, I am undone[ 85 
/tlex. Stay, Apelles; no haste. It is your heart is on tire, hot 
vour shop; and if Campaspe bang there, I would shee were burnt. 
But have you the picture of Campaspe ? Belike you love her well, 
,hat you care hOt though ail be lost, so she be safe. 
/Ipel. Not love her! But your Majestie knowes that painters in 9 ° 
their last workes are said to excell themselves; and in this I have 
so much pleased my selfe, that the shadow as much delighteth mee, 
being an artificer, as the substance doth others, that are amorous. 
ztlex. You lay your colours grosly. 2 Though I could not paint 
in your shop, I can spie into your excuse. Be not ashamed, Apel- 9.5 
les; it is a gentlemans sport to be in love. [T0 the Page.] Call 
hither Campaspe. [Exit Page.] Methinkes z I might bave beene 
made privie to your aff'ection: though mv counsell had hot bin 
necessary, yet my countenance might bave "beene thought requisite. 
But Apelles, forsooth, loveth under handi yea, and under Alexanders 
nose, and--but I say no more! 
/IpeL Apelles loveth hot so; but hee liveth to doe as Alexander 
will. IRe-enter Page zaith Campaspe.] 
/Ilex. Campaspe, here is newes. Apelles is in love with you. 
Camp. It pleaseth your Majestie to say so. 
4lex. [aslde]. Hephestion, I will trie her too.- Campaspe, for 
the good qualities I know in Apelles and the vertue I see in you, I 
am determined you shall enjoy one another. How say you, Cam- 
paspe, would you say, « I ? " 
Camp. Your hand-maid must obey if you command, t to 
/Ilex [aside]. Thinke you not, Hephestion, that she would faine 
be commanded. 
Hep. [aside]. I am no thought-catcher, but I ghesse unbappily. 4 

1 M., phrasing as in the text, says : « In BI. these two words (each standing at the end of 
a llne) are interchanged. F. prints as I do, but, as he has no note, I do hot know whether he 
followed one of the older edifions, or corrects by conjecture." 
• Frame your excuses dumsil),, a BI.» two words. 4 ,« But my surmise ia mlschievom." 



. ,,,,] llexander and Campaspe 39 

-gl«x. I will hOt enforce marriage where I cannot compell love. 
Camp. But your Majestie may more a question where you be I15 
willing to have a match. 
,g/ex. [acide]. Beleeve me, Hephestion, these parties are agreed; 
they would have mee both priest and witnesse.--Apelles, take 
Campaspe ! Why more yee hot.; Campaspe, take Apelles ! XVill 
it hot be .; If you be ashamed one of the other, by my consent you 1:20 
shail never corne together. But dissemble hot, Campaspe. Doe 
you love Apelles ? 
Tamp. Pardon, my lord; l love Apelles. 
-g/ex. Apelles, it were a shame for you, being loved so openly 
of so faire a virgin, to say the contrairie. Do you love Campaspe ? 1:25 
/lpe/. Onely Campaspe ! 
C/ex. Two loving wormes, Hephestion ! I perceive Alexander 
cannot subdue the affections of men, though he I conquer their 
countries. Love falleth, like a dew, as well upon the low grasse as 
upon the high cedar2 Sparkes have their heate, ants their gall, 13o 
fies their spleene. XVelI, enjoy one another. I give ber thee 
frankly, Apelles. Thou shalt see that Alexander maketh but a toy 
of love and leadeth affection in fetters, using fancie as a foole to 
make him sport or a minstrell to make him merry. It is hot the 
amorous glance of an eye can settle an idle thought in the heart. 135 
No, no, it is childrens gaine, a lire for seamsters and schollers; 
the one, pricking in clouts, 3 have nothing else to think on; the 
other, picking fancies out of books, have little else to marvaile 
at. Go, Apelles, take with you your Campaspe; Alexander is 
cloyed with looking on that which thou wondrest at. « 14o 
-gpel. Thankes to your Majestie on bended knee : you have hon- 
oured Apelles. 

1 BI. toug conŒEuer. F. added, the  he.' 
2 Sec Eupbu«J and aiJ England» Arber» .56. 
s Patching. 
4 « What good reckoning Alexander ruade of him, he shweà by one notable argument i for 
having among his courtesans one nameà Campaspe, whom he fanded especially in regard as 
well of that affection of his as h©r incomparable beauty, he gave commandement to Apelles to 
draw ber picture ail naked ; but perceiving Apelles at the same time to be wound©d with the 
like dart of" love as well as himelf, he bestowed her on him most franldy. Some are of" opin- 
ion that by the patterne of" this Campaspe, Apelles ruade the picture of Venus Anad},omene." 
Flolland» XXXV'. io. Th© naine really was Pancaste. 



33 ° l]exander and Camase [^c. 

Camp. Thankes with bowed heart : you have blessed Campaspe. 
Exeunt [,4pelle and Campaspe]. 
4lex. Page, goe warne Clytus and Parmenio and the other lords 
to be in a readinesse ; let the trumpet sound ; strike up the drumme ; I4.. 
and ! will presently into Persia. How now, Hephestion, is Alex- 
ander able to resist love as he list ? 
Hep. The conquering of Thebes was hot so honourable as the 
subduing of these thoughts. 
41ex. It were a shame Alexander should desire to command the 15o 
world, if he could hOt command himselfe. But come, let us goe. 
I will trie whether I can better beare my hand with my heart 1 than 
I could witb mine eye. And, good Hephestion, when ail the world 
is wonne and every country is tbine and mine, either find me out 
another to subdue, or, of  my word I will fall in love. Exeunt. 155 

. Alexander ref'er t'o the unfavorable comment" of AII on/ L,wing» p. 31o, L o 9. 

FINI 



THE EPILOGUE AT THE 
BLACKE FRIERS 

WHERE the rain bow toucheth the tree, no caterpillars will hang 
on the leaves ; where the gloworme creepeth in the night, no adder 
will goe in the day: wee hope in the eares where our travailes be 
lodged no carping shall harbour in those tongues. Our exercises 
must be as your judgment is resembling water, which is alwayes of 
the same colour into what it runneth. In the Troyan horse lay 
couched souldiers with children ; 1 and in heapes of manv words we 
feare divers unfit among some allowable. But, as Demosthenes 
with often breathing up the bill, amended his stammering, so wee 
hope with sundrie labours against the haire  to correct our studies. 
If the tree be blasted that blossomes, the fault is in the winde and 
hot in the root; and if our pastimes bee misliked that have beene 
allowed, you must impute it to the malice of others and hot our 
cndevour. And so we rest in good case» if you rest well content. 

I KnighoE  Against the grain. F. 

5 

IO 



The Epilogue at the Court 

Wt cannot tell whether wee are fallen among Diomedes 1 birdes 
or his horses,--the one received some men with sweet notes,  the 
other bit ail men with sharpe teeth. But, as Homer's gods con- 
veyed them into cloudes whom they would bave kept from curses, 
and, as Venus, least Adonis should be pricked with the stings of 5 
adders, covered his face with the wings of swans, so wee hope, 
being shielded with your Highnesse countenance, wee shall, though 
heare a the neighing, yet hot feele the kicking of those jades, and re- 
ceive, though no prayse-- which we cannot deserve-- yet a pardon, 
which in ail humilitie we desire. As yet we cannot tell what we IO 
should tearme out labours, iron or bullion ; only it belongeth to your 
Majestie to make them fit either for the forge or the mynt, currant 
by the stampe or counterfeit by the anvill. For, as nothing is to be 
called white unlesse it had beene named white bv the first creator, 4 
so can there be nothing thought good in the opinion of others un- 5 
lesse it be christened good bv the judgement of your selfe. For our 
seh'es, againe, we are like t}]ese torches of waxe, of which, being in 
your Highnesse hands, you mav make doves or vultures, roses or 
nettles, laurell for a garland or elder for a disgrace. 6 

1 A king of Thrace who fed his horses with human flesh. 
2 -Birds called Diomedoe. Toothed they are, and they have des as red and bright as 
the tire: otherwise their feathers be ail white. Found thev be in one place, innobled for 
the tombe and Temple of Diomedes, on the coast of Apulia. Their manner is to cry with 
open mouth uncessantly at any strangers that corne aland, save only Grecians, upon whom they 
wil seem to fawne and make signs of love.., as descended from the race of Diomedes.'" Hol- 
land, X. 4.4- 
a F. following Do. unnecessarily prints  wee heare." 
4 BI. crcatur¢. F. first printed ' creator." 
6 Disgrace attached to the elder hecause it was the tree on which Judas hanged himself. F. 



THE OLD WIVES' TALE 

Edited totth Critical Esay and Notes 
y F. B. Gummere, Ph.D., 
Professor in Haverford College. 



CRITICAL ESSAY 

Lire. w George Peele, probably sprung from a Devonshire family, and 
the son of James Peele, clerk of Christ's Hospital, is known to bave been in 
 65 a free scholar of the grammar school connected with that foundation. 
He went to Oxford in 57; studied at Broadgates Hall, now Pembroke 
College, and at Christ Church ; took }ris B.A. in 577, his M.A. in 
 579, and went up to London about t çSo. At Oxford he already had the 
naine of poet, scholar, and dramadst. He was married, it would seem, as 
early as 583, to a wife vho brought him some property ; this, however, 
soon vanished, and left the poet dependent upon Iris wits. Although the 
stories in the .ï[ests are musty old tales, fastened upon Peele, it is unlikely 
that they settled on }ris name without a sense of fitness on the part of a pub- 
lic that had known his ways, w }ris hopeless lack of pente, his good nature 
and popularity, his shifts to beg, borrow, and cozen. With Greene, Nashe, 
Marlowe, and a few fesser lights, he belonged to that group of scholars who 
wrote plays, translations, occasional poems, pageants, and whatever else 
would find a market. Now and then, it is almost certain, he appeared as 
an actor. Of his dissolute course of life, its misery and squalour, there tan 
be no doubt whatever; "'driven as myself," says Greene, "'to extreme 
shifts." As early as , 579 Peele had ruade trouble for Iris father ; he lived 
in poverty ; and the curtain falls upon an ignoble end. Dying before S98, 
the poet barely saw Iris forfieth year. 

Plays assigaed to Peele.--The best plays of Peele are The 4r- 
raignment of Paris, published in  584, and, in Fleay's opinion, played 
as early as 58,--a «first encrease," Nashe calls it, written in 
smooth metres which doubtless had influence on Marlowe's own 
verse; The Old IFives" Tale, published 595; and the saccharine 
David and Bethsabe, beloved of German critics. Edward L, with 
wofully corrupt text, is good onlv in parts ; The Battle of 4lcazar, 
published anonymously in 594, is almost certainly Peele's, but 
does hot help his reputation ; while Sir Clyomon and $ir Clamydes is 



336 George Peele 

qutte certainly not Peele's in any way. Fleay, Biographical Chron- 
cle of the English Drama, II. 296 , assigns it, along with Common 
Conditions and /Ippius and l'irginia, to R. B. (Richard Bower?), 
whose initials appear on the title-page of the last-named play. 
Professor Kittredge, however, rournal of Germanic Pbilology, II. 8, 
suggests, as author of Sir Clyomon, Thomas Preston of Cambyse 
faine. B, way of compensation for this loss, Fleay (work quoted, 
II.  55) attributes to Peele The ll/isdome of Doctor Doddipoll, pub- 
lished in 16oo ; there is dialect in the play, but overdone, good blank 
verse and an indifferent plot. The song, llVhat Thing is Love, 
hardly makes foundation enough for the assumption that Peele 
wrote the play, even with the aid of an enchanter among the char- 
acters, and a metre like that of David and Betbsabe. Further, 
Fleay presents our author with l[ily Beguiled, possibly, he thinks, a 
université' play ; but his proof is not convincing. Kirkman, in a 
catalogué of plays added to his edition of Tom Tiler and his lI/'ife, 
66, credits George Peele hot only with David and Bethmbe, but 
with dlphonsus, Emperor of Germany, while rVill Shakespeare has the 
drraignment of Paris. The Old lIives ' Tale is set down as anony- 
mOUS. 
In regard to Peele's miscellaneous and occasional poetry there 
need be noted here only his clever use of blank verse in shorter 
poems his charming lyrics and those noble lines at the end of the 
Polyhymnia, beginning-- 
«' His golden locks time hath to silver turn'd." 

Peele's Place in the Development of English Drama. -- Although we 
had a text of absolute authoritv and a minutely accurate lire of the 
author, we should gain with ail this lore no real stay for a study, a 
critical understanding of Tbe Old III'ire»" Tale regarded as an ele- 
ment in the making of English comedy. Peele and his play along 
with any hints of sources and models that are to be heeded and 
with whatever help may corne from study of his other works, must 
be fused into a single fact and compared with those "environmental 
conditions" which influence ail literarv production. This will 
determine the equation between art and nature between the cen- 
tri6_.gl forces, which are always expressing themselves in terms of 



George Peele 337 

what is called genius or originality, and the centripetal forces of a 
great literary and popular development. It will determine the rela- 
tion of Peele's comedy to the line of English comedies. 
Such a critical process leaves one with two qualities in mind that 
seem to have had an initial force. They belong to Peele on con- 
temporary testimony confirmed by a study of his works. Tom 
Nashe more in eulogy than in discrimination, yet surely hOt without 
a dash of critical discernmen h calls Peele « the chief supporter of 
pleasance now living the atlas of poetry and primus verborum arti- 
Nashe undoubtedly flatters, but another of the "college" Greene, 
in that death-bed appeal to his brother playwrights, was in no mood 
for flatter), ; and it is probably sincere even if mistaken, praise when 
he calls Peele « in some things rater, in nothing inferior," to Mar- 
lowe, and to that "young juvenall " who may be Nashe or Lodge. 
In what things Peele was « tarer," Greene fails to say, but a study 
of The lrraignment f Parh, of David and Betbsabe, even of portions 
of Edward L, and of the Battle ofllcazar, supports the reputation of 
Peele as an artist in words, and in prose as «well-languaged"; while 
in The Old IIVives' Talc there greets the critic, hot too openly, it is 
truc, but unmistakably the quality of humour. Moreover, there 
are the Tests which, apocryphal as they doubtless are, and sorry 
stuff by an), reckoning, nevertheless show that to people of his day 
Peele was counted a merry fellow, a humourist in our sense of the 
word. Perhaps Shakespeare's jests would seem as stale and fiat if 
we had the anecdotes that passed current among his successors at 
the playhouse. In an), case, George had a sense of humour which 
I «To the Gentlemen Students of both Uni¢e.,ities," prefixed to Greene's 21fenapbon 
a well-known passage. Little, if anything, can be ruade of Meres when (Haslewood, 1I., 
t 5 ] he couples Peele now with Ariosto, now as tragical poet, with Apollodorus Tarsensis. 
He does hot naine Peele among the wfiters of comedv. Later, in ttae ¢ottb ?'ou to a'ron 
14alden (Grosart, III. t96), Nashe, with no mention of Peele, concedes to Greene mas- 
tery, above ail the craft, in " plot-ring of plaies." This dramatic art of words, by the way, 
must hot be confused wLth Euphuistic feats. Greene, Nashe, even Harvey, turned with Sidney 
against mere " playing with v¢ord.s and id|e simi|ies," and Pee|e is anything but a follower of 
Gue¢ara. 
 ]ferrie conceited ests of George Peele» Gentleman, sometimes a $tudent in Oxford. 
'iaerein is sbe¢oed tbe course of bis li.[è bogo be lived : a man v«r, cave//kno¢one in tbe Citie 
of London and else¢obere .... There was an edition in  607, hardly ten years after Peele'a 
leath. 



338 eorge Peele 

found utterance in this Old II/'ives' Tale; it is not the classical 
humour of Roister Doister hOt the hearty but clumsy mirth of Gam- 
mer Gurton, but rather a hint of the extravagant and romantic which 
turns upon itself with audible merriment at its own pretences, a 
hint, hOt of farce or of wit merely, but of genuine humour, some- 
thing hOt to be round in Greene's lighter work, ! or in Lyly's 
/klother Bombie, or in any of those earlier plays that did fealty to 
the comic muse. Such, then, is the contemporary formula for 
Peele as a power in the making of English drama: "primus verborum 
artifex," and " chier supporter of pleasance." He was an artist in 
words and he had the gift of humour. 
As regards this artistry in words, it is well known that the con- 
ditions of English life, the vigour of speech as quickened by inter- 
course in the street, the market-place, the exchange, where a spoken 
word even in traffic and commerce still counted better than a 
written word, dialogue and conversation better than oratory, and the 
conditions of the stage itself, with its slender resources of scenery 
and its confident appeal to the imagination, ail helped to push this 
pomp and mastery of phrase into the forefront of an Elizabethan 
playwright's qualifications. Probably the spectator at a play felt 
something of the interest which was then so rife in the world of 
books and learning,--the interest in words as words, in the course 
of a sentence as indicating more or less triumph over a still un- 
trained tongue. Nietzsche is extravagant but suggestive in certain 
remarks that bear upon this verbal artistrv in the drama. Speaking 
of Nature and Art, 9 he insists that the (3reeks taught men to like 
pompous dramatic verse and an unnatural eloquence in those tragic 
situations where mere nature is either stammering or filent. The 
Italians went further and taught us to endure, in the opera, some- 
thing still more artificial and unnatural--a passion which not only 
1 Tbe Looking Glassefor London and England has some boisterous comedy, but no humour. 
In George-a-Greene, good phy that it is, the balhd material is taken quite teriously. In Friar 
Bacon and Friar Bungay there is exquisite idyllic work, a dash of passable, though quite tradi- 
tionall comedy, but no trace of the peculiar element, presently to be described as the dominant 
note of treatment in TIoe OId t'es' Talc. 
'2 Frblicbe l¢Zissenscbaft, p. lO 9 f. So in lais Geburt der Traggdie, p. 89, spraking of the 
prologue as used by Euripides» which told in advance the action of the play, Nietzsche asserts that 
the Athenians were less interested in the plot than in the pathos of oetuations and the rhetori© 
of the players. 



George Peele 339 

declaims, but sings. Tragic eloquence, sundered from nature, feeds 
that pride which "loves art as the expression of a high heroic 
unnaturalness and conventionality." "The Athenian," Nietzsche 
goes on to say with cheerful heresy, "went into the theatre hot to 
be roused by pity and terror, but to listen to fine speeches." One 
is inclined to think that this desire for fine speeches had a large 
share in the motive which sent an Elizabethan to the play. Cer- 
tainly the drama responded to this demand more quickly than to 
any demand for coherence of plot and delicacy of characterization. 
Vho led in this movement ? Most critics brush aside ail rivais 
from the path of Marlowe and credit him alone with the « mighty 
line," the pomp of diction, the sweep of word and figure, which 
brought the drama from those puerilities of phrase and manner up 
to its noble estate. This is true in the sense that Marlowe was 
infinitely greater as a poet and a tragedian than either Greene or 
Peele. But as verborum artifex it is probable that Marlowe has had 
considerable credit which belongs to the others, particularly Peele; 
and the testimony of Nashe and Greene, who knew the craft, must 
hot be rejected so utterly. Campbell, it is true, praised Peele as 
"the oldest genuine dramatic poet of out language "; but Symonds, 
and with him are such scholars as llr. A. V. Vard, asserts that 
Peele ,tdiscovered no new rein." Symonds is inclined to look on 
Greene as herald 1 and Marlowe as founder; Peele is a pleasant but 
unimportant maker of plays and verse. Greene, he thinks, began 
the school of gentleman and scholars who wrote for the stage at a 
time when rhyming plays were in vogue ; but none of those which 
Greene wrote has corne down to our day. Marlowe now comes 
imperiously upon the scene, forces his blank verse into favour, and is 
at last reluctantly admitted by Greene and the others into thei 
"college.'" So runs the theory of Symonds. Qite opposed to 
this view of the case is Mr. Fleay, who declares that Marlowe 
followed George Peele in the article of tt flowing blank verse. ''9 
There can be no question, moreover, that certain critics have 
exalted Greene too high and put Peele too low. Peele had quite 

I ,, The romantic play, the English Farsa, may be called in a great measure his discovery." 
baesteare's Predecessors, p. 580. 
a ,, A marrer in which he certainly anticipated Ma:lowe," Biog. Cbron. IL 151, 



34o George Peele 

as much as Greene to do with the refining and energizing of Eng- 
lish dramatic diction, a process aptly described by Thomas Hey- 
wood in his lpologyfor lctors: 1 tt Our English tongue . . . is now 
by this secondary meanes of pl.ring continually refined, every writer 
striving in himselfe to adde a new florish unto it." Plots remained 
clumsy, crude ; but what change in the diction of plays [ In /ppius 
and lSrginia there is still puerile diction and jog-trot metre,-- 

"" Tbey framèd also afier this, out of his tender side, 
A piece of much formosity, svith him for to abide." 

From this to blank verse and compressed or energetic diction, as 
(eronimo),  

" My knee sings thanks unto your Highness bounty," -- 

is a progress involving vast reformings, and some deformings, 2 
in diction and in metre, of such sweep that Eiizabethans put these 
qualities first when thev ,vent about to judge a play. " Your nine 
comoedies," writes Hrvev to Spenser, come nearer to Ariosto's, 
"eyther for the finenesse of plausible Elocution, or the rareness of 
Poeticai Invention," than the Faery .ueene to the Orlando Furios. 
In this ennobling of diction, Peele may not bave ied the column of 
playwrights, but he was certainly in the van. His achievement 
must not be dashed bv a comparison with Shakespeare, who cov- 
ered up absurdities of" plot--as in the [erchant af lénlce--b}, 
brilliant characterization, where this earlier group depended upon 
the art of words, s For the related art of brave metres, of a tt flow- 
ing blank verse" in plays, we have no space to argue upon the 
claims of leadership. Enough is done for the matter if one remem- 
bers that Peele, who wrote admirable blank verse belote Marlowe 
was out of his teens, had nothing to learn from the greater poet 

1 Ed. Shakespeare Society, t84t , p. 5 z. 
-2. Peele is not of the extreme group whose feats in diction remind one of what Dr. Johnson 
said about the metaphysical poets, that "thdr wish was only to say what they hoped had never 
been said before.'" 
 Gosson, in a well-known passage, purs brave hnguage first among dramatic atu-action : 
"sweemess of words» fitness of epithets with metalhors , allegorles .... "" 



George Pee]e 341 

about the management of this mette in and for itse|f. 1 Certainly 
he got more music out of the pentameter than any earlier dramatist 
had done; witness such a movement as,- 
"' What sign is rainy and what star is fr," 
or,  
• ' And water running from the silver spring." 

The 01d Wives' Talc, an Innovation in Comedy. --It may be conceded 
that Peele "discovered no new rein " in diction and in mette, 
although his work in each was of a high order, hOt far removed 
from leadership. DilUèrent is the case when one considers his 
claires for innovation in comedv. He was the first to blend 
romantic drama with a realism vhich turns romance back upon 
itself, and produces the comedy of subconscious humour. The 
tragedies, and even the miracle plays, while extravagant in form, 
had hOt been altogether unnatural in action. The supernatural in 
that age was hot unnatural. The unnatural was mainlv confined 
to the diction. Gradually, as everv one knows, the romantic ele- 
ment, in a wide sense, got upper hand and ruled the English drama. 
In The Old llives" Talc this romantic spirit cornes in, hot as a new 
element, but as a new kind of "art '" grafted upon the " nature " 
of the rough and comic stock ; and to the reader's surprise draws 
away ail unnaturalness from the dialogue, which is now plain, 
natural, commonplace. 2 Realism in diction was no new thing; 
romance in plot was hot an innovation ; it was the clash, the inter- 
play, the subjective element, the appeal to something more than 
a literal understanding of what is said and done, a new appeal to 
a deeper sense of humour--here lay the new rein discovered by 
George Peele. The romantic drama, we repeat, was known ; wit- 
ness that little group of "folk-iore romances," as Mr. Fleav calls 
them, Common Conditions, Sir Clvomon and 8if Clamydes, and Appius 
and l'irginia; the two former are full of adventures, of amorous 
knights and wandering ladies, a Forest of Strange Marvels, an Isle 

1 Lïmmerhirt counts neady 8 4 per cent of the verses in the lrraignraent of Paris as rhymed i 
Daid an Betksabe bas less than 7 per cent. and Tke Battle of .éllcazar barely 3 per cent. 
u The diction of Tbe OId ltwi.es" Tale differs from Lly's comic prose muchas Nashe' style 
in his pamphlets differs from the periods of" Lyly's Eupbue». 



342 George Peele 

of Strange Marshes, what not. In ail of them, however, the 
romance is presented in unnatura} diction, to suit such unnatural 
doings, and justifies those bitter words of the Second and Tbird Blast 
of Retrait from Plaies and Tbeaters, l that " the notablest lier is 
become the best Poet . . . for the strangest Comedie brings greatest 
delectation . . . faining countries neuer heard of, monsters and pro- 
digious creatures that are hot .... "" A milder romantic drama, but 
without the humour which we mean, is Greene's Orlando Furioso. 
The other plays, however, have no humour at ail except the tradi- 
tional humour of the Vice ; and of the three representatives, Condi- 
tions, who finallv turns pirate, is certainlv a far merrier person than 
Haphazard in lppius or Subtle Shift in Sir Clyomon. There is 
realistic setting in Common Conditions, with some lively dialogue, 
and a distinctiv catching song and chorus 2 of tinkers, at the open- 
ing of the pla.. It is "business " here, however, not that dramatic 
irony, springing from contrast of romantic plot and realistic diction, 
which makes a sutficientlv timid beginning in The Old llïves' 
Tale, and grows so insistént in Tbe Knigbt of tbe Burning Pestle. 
Moreover, Peele's realistic work shows the control and conscious- 
ness of a higher art. There are no peasants like Hodge in Gammer 
Gurton, Corin in Sir Clyomon, and Hob and Lob in Cambyses. a 
There is an outburst or two of vokel wit in Peele's play ; but there 
is no breaking of heads, no chance for the clown to sing a song 
while drunk, as Hance does in the interlude of Like lI'il to Like. 
These signs of a subtler conception of his art should be placed 
to Peele's credit; for while an obvious dialect marks Hodge and 
Corin and the test, Clunch and *Iadge speak a plain English, re- 
minding one irresistiblv of the milk-woman's talk with Piscator: 
it smacks of cottage ad field and hedge~rows and, as Nashe would 
say, has "old King Harrie sinceritie." There is a difference as 
between the exaggerated " havseed " of a comic paper and the finer 
drawing in one of Hardy's peasants. Exaggeration would spoil the 

1 Ed. W. C. Hazlirt, Roxburgh Library, 869, p. x45. 
 Sec the song in lppius, " Hope so and hap so.'" -- In .ltsogonus, the Vice appears as a 
domestic fool. 
a Compare the French and broken Engli,h in Tbree Lrds and Tbree Ladies of 
the dialect of Bohan the Scot in Greene's yame 1':» and the inevitable Welshman. 



Georie Peele 343 

sense of contrast between honest l,Iadge and the high pretences of 
the plot. In Huanebango there is girding hOt onlv at Harvey, but 
at the romance hero in general ; this big-mouthed, impossible fellow, 
with Corebus as a foil, foreshadows, however dimly, the far more 
clever presentation of an English Don Qixote in the person of Ralph. 
A second element of humour in this realistic treatment of 
romance is the use of an induction, or rather of a combination 
of the induction and the play within the play, as a means of ex- 
pressing dramatic irony. Although the induction springs from the 
prologue, and although the opening of The Old If%es" Tale is tech- 
nicallv an induction, like many another of the time, it has to out 
thinki'ng a distinctly new vein. gVhat Schwab I calls the first 
example of the use of an induction -- in The Rare Triumphs of Love 
and Fortune-- makes both induction and play connected parts of a 
whole. It is a dramatic device, wholly objective in character, 
external, with no demand upon the sense of contrast. Different, 
but hardly a new idea,  is the induction as employed by Greene in 
4lphonsus and ames Il . ; here is a return to the old notion of the 
prologue, a justifying of the playwright's wav. XVill Summer, 
the pet jester,  who ushers in Nashe's play, caIls himself outright 
a kind of chorus. In the old Taming of a Shrew, printed in I594, 
Sly, while only a casual commentator upon the play, is entirely 
outside of the main action, which, as Schwab points out, thus be- 
cornes an actual play within the play. Still, even in these cases, 
the contrast is objective and direct. The induction is a clever 
device to heighten interest m the play. Before, it had served the 
playwright as an expression of his purpose in the main drama; 
later, as with Ben Jonson, it voiced his critical opinions. Vhether 
objective or subjective, however, the contrast between play and 
induction is direct. Q_uite dihVerent is that induction, which Schwab 
rightly calls remarkable, in The Knight q[" tbe Burning P«stle; and 
different, too, is that earlier attempt, which Schwab unaccountably 
fails to mention, in The Old II'ives" Tale. These both appeal to a 

1 Das &bauspid ira cbauspl«l Wien and Leipzig, x896. 
a "A new motiqv,'" says Schwab. Fleay (work quoted, I. z66) thinks Tb« Old li«s ° 
Talc fairly parodies the induction in arae Il r. 
a Sec a slmilar bit of horse-play in l¢'i/y lt«guiled. 



344 George Peele 

sense of humour awakened by the interplay of theme and treatment, 
of character and situation. In Peele's play this involution of epic, 
drama and comment--a seeming confusion which bas distressed 
many of the critics--rcallv heightens the dramatic power of the 
piece. The induction is duble. First corne a bit of romance, 
with the lost wanderers in the wood, and a realistic foil in their own 
dialogueby no means the "heavv prose" of Collier's censure. 
Secondly cornes outright realism with" Clunch, Madge, the bread and 
cheese, and the old joke about bedfellows, cleverly followed by 
Madge's abrupt raid upon romantic ground. She is well started, 
but stumbling, when the other actors break in ; and the inner play, 
hot without some confusion and mystification, runs its course. 
Perhaps the sense of huddling, abrupmess, confusion, is inten- 
tional as part of an old wives' tale indeed; perhaps, again, this 
must be laid to the charge of Peele's carelessness in «plotting 
plaies." Be that as it mav be the interplay of these elements 
makes a new kind of comed ; and the humour of this play, crude 
and tentative as it seems when compared with the humour of Uncle 
Toby 1 and of those lesser lights that revolve in the orbit of the 
Quixotic contrast, differs from earlier essays of the sort in that it 
is hot a separate element of fun, but rather something which exists 
in solution with the comed), itself. The Old l'ïve«" Tale lies 
midwav between the utter lack of coherence in Nashe's play and 
the sutletv of Beaumont and Fletcher. Vill Summer is often 
irrelevant nd tiresome; the main action, on which he comments, 
is now pathetic, now farcical, now merelv spectacular ; but in our 
play the thread of romance runs throug'hout unbroken and keeps 
the piece in a sort of unity, while the comment, vhether direct or 
hinted, bas a vastlv finer rein of ironv. The romantic side of 
folk-lore has its de withal, as in the test of fidelitv at the end 
between Eumenides and Jack, with the proposed division of Delia 
--a casus alwavs acceptable to such an audience, and here of acute 
though subordihate interest. Moreover, Peele has a kind of reti- 
cence and control in his art; he suggests in a whisper what ,Vill 
Summer would bave roared into commonplace and horse-play. 
I The delicate irony of later triflings with romanceas in Wieland's Oberon--isj of 
course, quite out of the question. 



George Peele 345 

The Background of Folk-Lore.  Finaily, the very Old II'ive" Tale 
itself, with its background of foik-iore, that trvst of ancient splen- 
dour with modern poverty and ignorance on the territory of a for- 
gotten faith, is a thing of quietly humorous contrasts. Several 
elements are tobe considered in the charming iittle medley which 
Peele bas ruade from the folk-iore of his dav--"that curious 
mélange of nursery raies," as Mr. Joseph Jaco'bs calls it. The 
enchanter and his spells, the stolen daughter and her brothers' quest, 
make a familiar central group. Perhaps Madge set out to teil the 
story of Childe Rowland, familiar to Elizabethans, 1 although ]ack the 
Giant Killer bas his claires. Thefee-fa-fum, as eve U one knows, 
occurs aiso in Shakespeare's Lear. The help of the Vhite Bear-- 
a transformation, iike the saws and prophecies, suflïciently familiar 
in these raies w is similar to that of Merlin in Childe Rowland; but 
the ghost of Jack reminds one of the other story. Mr. Jacobs 
quotes Kennedi, that in a parailei Irish tale "Jack the servant is 
the spirit of the buried man." One has oniv to make this substi- 
tution, and the vicarious gratitude of the iant Killer  is better 
explained. Perhaps, to% Peele has borrowed some of his thunder 
and iightning, as weli as Huanebango's fee-fa-fum, from the 
giants; and the disenchantment at the hands of an invisible hero 
ma t' belong, in part, to this tale. Two other folk-tales ma t' be 
named- The ll/'ell of the IF'orld's End, mentioned, if a slight 
emendation be allowed, in The Complaynt of Scotland, and The Three 
Heads of the ll/'ell--as known, in some form, to Peele, and used 
directly in the story of the two daughters. The familiar theme of 
the so-cailed "death index "3 is touched but slightly ; and perhaps 
itis unnecessary to go to the Red Ettin for a parallei to Huane- 
bango and Corebus, who respectively refuse and give a piece of 
cake to the helpfui old man. The theme is common in folk-iore. 

I Sec English Fairy Tales, j. Jacobs, edition of *898, pp. z43, 245- A monograph 
¢ould be written on the folk-lore of this plav, where, itis to be conjectured, Peele has fol- 
Iowed no single raie, but has combined parts of separate stories» and flung in bits of rh)me and 
fragments of superstition» as fancy bade him. 
2 English Faire Tales, p. *04- This theme ofthe Tbank/rul Dead is extremely common. 
It is round in an ofd English romance, ir .#lmadace, and has "been treatel by Max Hipie , in 
Herrlg's .elrclai% Vol. LXXXI, p. *4*- 
aJacobs, Englisb Fairy Ta/e*, Notes, p. zSz. See also Frazer's Golden Bougb. 



346 George Pede 

It is interesting to note that Beaumont and Fletcher show a liking 
for folk-tales, as well as for traditional songs and ballads, in that 
pla]/, which b]/its induction and general spirit most closel), resembles 
this Old II'ives' Tale. More dignified sources were long ago pointed 
out by ,Varton, who remarked that "the names of some of the 
characters . . . are taken from the Orlando Furioso." Meroe, in 
Apuleius, was invoked. But it seems clear enough that English 
folk-lore must be the mainstay of critics who think ail is done for 
a work of literature when they bave round out ever), possible and 
impossible source for plot, sideplot, and allusion. 
Literary Estimate. -- The marvel, after ail, is hOt that these mate- 
riais are huddled and confused in the combination; the confusion 
is part of the artistic process, and if the figures more across the 
stage without firm connection one with the other, that, too, is done 
after the manner of the old tale. Ve are on romantic ground 
and are to see by glimpses. Here is no comedv of incident, in the 
usual meaning of the terre, no comedy of intrigue or of manners. 
It is rather a comedy of comedies, a saucy challenge of romance, 
where art turns, however timidly, upon itself. Perhaps Peele wrote 
this play, as I)ryden wrote .411for Love, to please himself. Un- 
questionably, until Mr. Bullen ruade a plea for mercy, The Old 
llrives" 7ble had been shamefully treated. Collier I calls it " noth- 
ing but a beldam's story, with little to recommend it but heavy 
prose and not much lighter blank verse," a most inadequate sum- 
marv from any point of view. The play, he thinks, has " a dis- 
gusting quantity of trash and absurditv." Dvce, while regarding 
Peele's "superiority to Greene" as "unquestionable," is not en- 
thusiastic about Tbe OM II5"ves' Tale. Mr. Vard speaks 2 of" the 
labvrinthine intricacv of the main scenes," knows not whether to 
cali it farce or interldde, and would pass it by save for the suggestion 
of Comus. But Mr. Bullen very properly objects to this unfair com- 
parison. Symonds, to be sure, uses it even more unfairly. The 
OM lI'ives" Tale, he makes bold to say, is the sow's ear to Milton's 
silk purse, a ,Vith an unusual blindness to literary perspective, 

I lnnalsofStage, etc., III. 197.  Eng. Drarn. Lit. I. 37- 
 Sbakespeare' Predeceor, p. 6 ff. Mr. Jacobs thinks that both poets went to folk« 
lofe for their materials. Cbilde Rovland is the probable source. 



George Peele 347 

Symonds goes on to judge this P, ickering little candle of romance, 
folk-lore, and half-roguish, half-ironical suggestion, by the sun- 
blaze of Milton's high seriousness and full poetic splendours. Peele, 
it seems, does hot " lift his subject into the heavens of poetry .... 
The wizard is a common conjurer. The spirit is a vulgar village 
ghost." SVhy hot, pray ? XVhat should they be for the purposes 
of this old wives' tale? XVhat would be left, say, of Chaucer's 
charming little story, that "folye, as of a fox, or of a cok and hen," 
if one were to pulverize it with such critical tools ? Peele is hot 
trying to raise comedy into the heavens ; he left that for his betters ; 
and the ineffectual Delia is a long remove from Hermia and Helena 
in the "wood near Athens." XVhat Peele, George Peele of the 
dingy jests, probably tried to do, and what he surely succeeded in 
doing, was to bring a new and more subtle strain of humour into 
the drama. Itur in antiquam sih,am. Realism left shabby and squalid 
things, alehouse wit, and laid hold of a sweeter life. Reckless, 
good-natured scholar, George fairly followed the call which haunted 
so many academic outcasts, the call which Marlowe and Greene 
and Dekker answered with those sweet songs of country lire, and 
which led Peele to the making of this play. He wove romance 
and realism into a fabric that may well show a coarse pattern and 
often very clumsy workmanship, but, on the whole, itis a pleasing 
pattern and a new. Moreover, it is ail made of sound English 
stuff. The tales he used for his main drama were familiar to Eng- 
lish ears; the persons of his framework play were kindly fo|k of 
any English village, and the air of it ail is as fresh and wholesome 
as an English summer morning. 
Sources, Title, Tex-t.--The sources of the plav, so far as one 
may speak of sources, are indicated in general above, and in par- 
ticular by notes to the following text. The plural form of the title 
ought probably to be singular, in spitc of common usage, the gloss 
ealdra cwéna spel (XVright, l'oc.), and I Timothv iv, 7 ; Mr. Fleay, 
perhaps as a concession to Madge, prints 0l IIïfes' Tale (Biog. 
Ghron. Eng. Drama, II. 54). 1 He purs the date of composition 
"clearly I59O,'" on the theory that Harvey--Huanebango--is 

I It h entered on the Stationers" Registers to Raphe Hancock, April 6, 1595, tbe o'wlde 
oi[es tle. Cf. " an olde wives talc," Greerl% Gr-arszL,. (Grort XII. I 9")- -- Gen. Ed. 



348 George Peele 

here satirized by Peele as a consequence of Harvey's attack upon 
Lyly in 1589,--circulated then in manuscript though not printed 
until 1593. Limmerhirt j argues, but hOt conclusively, that the 
play was written before 1588, w partly because of the allusions to 
Harvey, and partly because style and form point to an early period 
in the author's development. Until a suret date can be established, 
however, 159 ° will serve as the time of composition for this play. 
The OId lIives ' Tale, savs Dyce, "had sunk into completeoblivion, 
till Steevens . . . communicated to Reed the account of it which 
appeared in the Biographia Dramatica." In 1783 Steevens writes 
to XVarton: « AI! I bave learned in relation to the original from 
which the idea of Milton's Comus might be borrowed, I communi- 
cated to Mr. Reed .... Only a single copy of his [sic] Old 
lqvts" Talc bas hitherto appeared, and even that is at present out of 
mv reach .... ,,2 As to the rhythmic structure, E. Penner notes a 
that of 964 lines of this play 192 are rive-stress or ordinary heroic 
verse, 7 are hexameters, and too short verses. The rest is prose. 
The best edition is, of course, that of Bullen, in 3 vols., 1888-[13] ; 
but there were excellent editions by Dyce, one in 1828 fF., and 
another in 1861-[Dy.]. The present text of The O/d lqves' 
Tale is from the 1595 quarto in the British Museum; the title- 
page is, with the exception of the vignettes, a fait representation of 
the original. 
F. B. GUMMERE. 
1 G. P. Untersucbungenj etc. 1 Rostock, 186z, pp. 62 ff. 
 Biogr. OEfem. oftbe late fftos. If/'arton, DD., London, 18o6, p. 398. 
 .lgetriscbe Untersucbungen u George Peele in the ¢lrcbi fier das Studium d. neueren 
Sl)ratben , etc. { 189o), LXXXV. 279- 



THE 

Old Wiues Tale. 

A pleafant conceited Come- 
die played by the Q.9eenes Ma- 
iefties players 

Written by G. P. 

VIGNETTE 

Printed at London by Iobn Danter, and are to 
be fold by Rapb Hancocke, and Iobn 
Hardie, 1 ff 9 ff" 



_[The Persons of the Plav' 

SACRAPANT. 
First Brother, named CALYPHA. 
Second Brother, named TI-IELIA. 
EUMENIDE$. 
ERESTUS. 
LAMPRSCOSo 
HUANEBANGO. 
COREBUSo 
Churchwarden. 
Sexton. 
Ghost of Jc. 
Friar, Harvest-men, Furies, Hddlers, etc. 
DELIA, sister to CALYPHA and TI-IELEA. 
VrLIA, betrotbed to ERSTUS. 
ZANTIPPA,  , , 
(aaugtter to LAMPRI$CU$. 
C[LANTA, 
Hostess. 
 NTICo 
FRouc. 
FANTASTIC. 
Ct,vrcH, a mltb. 
MADCE, bis rafle.] 

I Not in Q.; inserted by Dy. On the history of the character sec Appendix  



The Old Wives Tale. 

lrtter ANxaCtIE, FROLICKE, and FArrASrlCKE. 

ANTICKE. 

.¢OW nowe fellowe Franticke, 1 what, ail a mort ? 9. Doth 
 this sadnes become thy madnes ? ,Vhat though wee 
 ['[, .... bave lost our way in the woodes, 'et never hang the 
lLO,¢'a head, as though thou hadst no hope to live till to mor- 
row : for Fantasticke and I will warrant thy lire to night for twenty 5 
in the hundred. 
Frolicke. Anticke and Fantasticke, as I am frollicke franion,Z never 
in ail my lire was I so dead slaine. ,Vhat ? to loose our way in 
the woode, without either tire or candle so uncomfortable ? O cae- 
lum .t 0 terra .t 0 maria .t 0 reptune .t 4 I o 
Fantas. Vhy makes thou it so strange, seeing Cupid bath led 
our yong master to the faire Lady and she is the only saint that he 
hath sworne to serve ? 
Frollicke. ,Vhat resteth then but wee commit him to his wench, 
and each of us take his stand up in a tree, and sing out our iii 5 
fortune to the tune of 0 man in desperatlon.  

1 A mlstake for Frofic. 
2 llamo¢t, mortally *ick ; and then, dis'pirited. 
8 , A gay, reckless fellow." 
4 Bdow « Neptune," Sig. A iii. 
il B. refers to Ebbsworth, Roxburgbe Ballads, IV. ]65, 468. Sec aloe Nash, Four Letters 
Confuted (Grosart, II. 9o), who says of Harvey's "barefoote rimes" that "thev wouid 
have trowld off bravely to the tune of O man in desteration » and» fike l]Iarenz.os Madrigals, 
the mourneful note natulally bave affected the miser'able Dittie." 



3 5 2 T/e OM lI/'t'ves Ta/e 

dnt. Desperately spoken, fellow Frollicke in the darke : but see- 
ing it falles out thus, let us rehearse the old proverb. 1 

Tbree merrie men, and tbree merrle men, 
A¢nd tbree merrie men be wee. 
I in tbe wood, and tbou on tbe ground. 
A¢nd acke sleepes in tbe tree. 

0 

Fan. Hush! a dogge in the wood, or a wooden dogge. 2 O 
comfortable hearing! I had even as lire the chamberlaine of the 
White Horse had called me up to bed. 
Frol. Eyther hath this trotting cur gone out of his cyrcuit, or 
els are we nere some village, which should hOt be farre off', for I 

Enter a SMITH .lditb a lantborne OE «andle. 

perceive the glymring of a gloworme, a candle, or a cats eye, my 
life for a halle pennie. In the name of my own father, be thou 
oxe or asse that appearest, tell us what thou art. 30 
Smith. x.Vhat am I ? x.Vhy I am Clunch the Smith ; what are 
you, what make you in my territories at this time of the night ? 
Int. XVhat doe we make, dost thou aske ? Why we make faces 
for feare : such as if thy mortall eyes could behold, would make thee 
water the long seames of thy side slops, a Smith. 35 
FroL And in faith, sir, unlesse your hospitalitie doe releeve us, 
wee are like to wander with a sorrowfull hey ho, among the owlets, 
& hobgoblins of the forrest : good Vulcan, for Cupids sake that hath 
cousned us ail, befriend us as thou maiest, and commaund us how- 
soever, wheresoever, whensoever, in whatsoever, for ever and ever. 4 40 

1 Chappell gives the song in Popular lIusic of tbe Olden Time, p. 216. Tbree Merry 
]lien is quoted in l/'estvard Hoe, and in Barry's Rare llley (sung by Smallshanks : sec note, 
Hazlitt-Docgley, X. a98), as well as in Tvelftb Nigbt; and it is parodied by the musical 
cook in Tbe Bloody Brotber. Chappell is somewhat daring when he takes these words from 
the OId Hives" Tale as the original ; lines 3 and 4- look like a parody. 
"2 Dy. points out the pun in ' wooden " ( = mad). 
: Long wide breeches or trousers ; Dy. See LooMng-Glass for London and England» near 
end : "This right slop is my pantry, behold a manchet [Drazvs it out] "" . . . 
" A bit of nonsense like the talk of Macbeth's porter. The speech is a sort of parody on 
the appeal of wandering knights or travellers in romances, and Clunch, with his ' territorie; 
may take the place of enchanter» giant, or the like. 



The Old IIives Tale 353 

8mith. Well, masters, it seemes to mee you have lost your waie in 
the wood: in consideration whereof, if you will goe with Clunch 1 
to his cottage, you shall have house roome, and a good tire to sit 
by, althogh we have no bedding to put you in. 
111. 0 blessed Smith, O bountifull Clunch. 
8mith. For your further intertainment, it shall be as it may be, 
so and so. 
Heare a dogge arke. 

45 

Hearke! u this is Ball my dogge that bids you ail welcome in his 
own language; come, take heed for 3 stumbling on the threshold. 
Open dore, Madge, take in guests. Enter old woman. 50 
C1. Welcome Clunch & good fellowes al that come with my 
good man; for my good mans sake come on, sit downe ; here is a 
peece of cheese & a pudding of my owne making. 
lnticke. Thanks, Gammer ; a good example for the wives of our 
towne. 55 
Frolicke. Gammer, thou and thy good man sit lovingly together ; 
we corne to chat and hot to eate. 
8mith. Well, masters, ifyou will eate nothing, take away. Corne, 
whatdoo we to passe away the time? Layacrab4in thetireto 
rost for lambes-wooll. XVhat, shall wee have a game at trumpe or 60 
ruffe 6 to drive away the time, how say you ? 
Fantasticke. This Smith leads a life as merrie as a king 6 with 
Madge his wife. Syrrha Frolicke, I am sure thou art not without 
some round or other ; no doubt but Clunch can beare his part. 
Frolicke. Els thinke you mee iii brought up ; 7 so set to it when 65 
you will. Tbey sing. 

1 This use of the third person is common in dramas of the rime. See Ward, OM Eng/isb 
Drama, $elect Plays e.tc. Introd., p. xi., notes. So in Greene : «' Which Brandamart 
(i.e. I }'" . . . ; « For Sacripant must have Angelica." It served to idenfify the actor. 
2 They are now supposed to be at the cottage. 8 For fear of... 
 A crab-apple. The pulp was mixed with aie, qamb's wool." 
 Collier gave Dyce the following quotarion from Iartin's lontb's 2linde : 'leaving the 
ancient game of Englanà (Trumpe), where eery coate anà sure are sorted in their degree» are 
running to Ruffe where the greatest sorte of the sure carrieth away the game." 
 The familiar motif of the contented peasant as entertainer of royalty or what hot. 
¢ According to the ests (Bullen, II. 3'4), George Peele had no sldll in music, and 
muet bave been a conspicuous exception i wimess the well-known statement of Chalpell » lopu- 



¢ TAc Old 14/'i;es Talc 

SONG. 
When as the Rie reach to the chln 
And chopcherrie, I chopcherrie ripe within 
Strawberries swimming in the creame 
And schoole boyes playing in the streame: 
Then O, then O, then O my true love said 
Till that time corne againe, 
Shee could hot lire a maid. 

4nt. This sport dooes well : but me thinkes, Gammer, a merry 
winters tale would drive away the time trimly. Come, I am sure 75 
you are hOt without a score. 
Fantast. I faith, Gammer, a tale of an howre long were as good 
as an howres sleepe. 
Frol. Looke you, Gammer, ofthe Gyant and the Kings Daughter,  
and I know hOt what. I have seene the day when I was a little one, 80 
you might have drawne mee a mlle after you with such a discourse. 
Oldwoman. Vell, since you be so importunate, my good man 
shall fill the pot and get him to bed ; they that plv their worke must 
keepe good howres. One of you goe lye with him; he is a cleane 
skind man, I tell you, without either spavin or windgall; so I am 85 
content to drive away the rime with an old wives winters tale. 
Fantast. No better hay in Devonshire,  a my word, Gammer, 
Ile be one of your audience. 
Frolice. And I another: thats fiat. 
4nticke. Then must I to bed with the good man. Bona nox 9 ° 
Gammer; God night, Frolicke. 
8mith. Come on, my lad, thou shalt take thy unnaturall « rest 
with me. 
Exeunt Awnc and the SM*THo 

lar Music, p. 9 8. The barber kept " lute or cittern "" in his shop for the amusement ofwalt- 
ing customers ; and England had been a land of song from Coedmon's rime down. The " man 
in the street" was expected to know how to join in a part song. The rural song such a 
they sing here, was a great favorite with the dramatists. 
x Chopcherry : "a game in which one tries to catch a suspended cherry with the teeth ; 
bob-cherry.'" . . . New Engl. Dict. 
2 A version of Cbilde Ro"i.vland 8 Peele was probably of a Devonshire family. 
4 A Dogberrian touch, evidently beloved by the pit, and a fine makeweight to those pom- 
pous experiments with word and phaase whlch delighted the serious playgoer. 



T/e OM ]12ïe« Tae 355 

Frolllcte. Yet this vantage shall we have of them in the morn- 
ing, to bee ready at the sight thereof extempore. 1 95 
OM wom. Nowe this bargaine, my masters, must I make with you, 
that you will say bure & ha to my raie, so shall I know you are awake. 
Botb. Content, Gammer, that will we doo. 
OM wom. Once uppon a time there was a King or a Lord, or a 
Duke, that had a faire daughter the fairest that ever was 
as snowe» and as redd as bloud : and once uppon a time his daughter 
was stollen away, and hee sent ail his men to seeke out his daughter» 
and hee sent so long, that he sent ail his men out of his land. 
Frol. rVho drest his dinner then ? 
Old voman. Nay, either heare my tale, or kisse my taile. Io 5 
Fan. rVell sed, on with your raie» Gammer. 
Old woman. 0 Lord, I quite forgot, there was a Conjurer, and 
this Conjurer could doo any thing» and hee turned himselfe into a 
great Dragon, and carried the Kinges Daughter away in his mouth 
to a Castle that hee ruade of stone, and there he kept hir I know 
hot how long» till at last ail the Kinges men went out so long, that 
hir two Brothers went to seeke hir. z O, I forger : she (he I would 
say) turned a proper  yong man to a Beare in the night, and a 
man in the day, and keeps4 by a crosse that parts three severall 
waies, & he Ç made his Lady run mad . . . Gods me bones, who 
cornes here ? Enter tbe two Brotber«. 
Frol. Sot't, Gammer, here some corne to tell your tale for you. 6 
Fant. Let them alone, let us heare what they will saï. 
I Brother. Upon these chalkie cliffs of Albion 
We are arived now with tedious toile, I-o 
And compassing the wide world round about 
To seeke our sister, to 8 seeke faire Delya forth, 
Yet cannot we so much as heare of hir. 

 Below t extempore,' Sig. B. 
 Sec Critical Esay for the folk-tales in question, z handsome. 
 'he' keeps (frequents» lires), i.e. the young man. Omission of subject i common in 
the hallads. 6 The conjurer. 
« Sec the Crtical Essay for this "play within the play.'" 
7 The princes, of course, talk in mette when the "high style'" is needed, but in familiar 
prose with irestus ( ---- "Senex" ). The repetitions in this blank-verse are characteristlc 
s B. omits. Dy. proposes to omit ' faire.' Neither omission is necesarv. 



356 TAe Old l[ives Tale 

2 Brother. O fortune cruell, cruell & unkind, 
Unkind in that we cannot find our sister ; Iz 5 
Out sister haples in hir cruell chance ! 
$oft, who have we here ? 
Enter SENEX ai the Crosse» sto$ing to gatbo'. 
I Brother. Now, father, God be your speed 
What doo you gather there ? 
Old man. 
that I gather 
I lrotber. 
that ail your 
Old man. 
 Brother. 
speede in that I goe for I will give thee as good a gowne of gray z 
as ever thou diddest weare. 
I Brother. And fathe G here is another aimes pennie for m% and 
if I speede in my journey, I will give thee a palmers staffe of yvorie, 
and a scallop shell of beaten gold. z 14o 
Old man. X.Vas shee fayre ?* 
 Brother. 1 the fairest for whit% and the purest for redd as the 
blood of the dear% or the driven snow. 
Old m. Then harke well and marke well» m t, old spell: 
Be not afraid of every strange G 145 
Start hot aside at every danger: 
Fhings that seeme are hOt the sam% 
Blow a blast at every flame: 
For when one flame of tire goes ouh 
Then comes your wishes well about: 15o 
If an*,, aske who told you this good, 
Say the x.Vhite Beare of Englands wood. 

Hips and hawes, and stickes and straws, and th;_nges 13o 
on the ground, my sonne. 1 
Hips and hawes, and stickes and stmwes] Why, is 
foode, father ? 
Yea, sonne. 
Father, here is an almes pennie for mee, and if I 135 

1 Remlnds one of nursery tale wlth b|t of thym%- the tante-fabk of folk-lore. 
 So Milton's famous "grey hooded Even, Like a sad votarist in palmer's weed " . . . 
a Below « golds' Sig. B ii. 
 Dy. assumes that «' somethlng.., bas dropt out '" ; but this i: hot necessary. Erestus who 
says below that he « speaks in riddles," knows the errand of the brothen 6 and asks the question 
abruptly. H¢ plays thc prt of Merlin in Cbild« Rouoland. 



7',e OM ll"ïes 

357 

I Brotber. 
Be not afraid of every stranger, 
Start not aside for every danger: 
Things that seeme are hOt the same, 
Blow a blast at every flame : 
If any aske who told you this good, 
Say the White Beare of Englands wood.  
2 Brotber. l, Vell, if this doo us any good, 
Wel rare the White Bear of Englands wood. 
Old man. Now sit thee here & tel a heavy raie. 
Sad in thy moode, and sober in thy cheere, 
Here sit thee now and to thy selfe relate, 
The hard mishap of thy most wretched state. 
In Thessalie I liv'd in sweete content, 
Untill that Fortune wrought my overthrow ; 
For there I wedded was unto a dame, 
That liv'd in honor, verrue, love, and faine: 
But Sacrapant, that cursed sorcerer, 
Being besotted with my beauteous love, 
My deerest love, my true betrothed wife, 
Did seeke the meanes to rid me of my lire. 
But worse than this, he with his chanting z spels, 
Did turne me straight unto an ugly Beare; 
And when the sunne doth settle in the west, 
Then I begin to don my ugly hide: 
And ail the day I sit, as now you see, 
And speake in riddles a!l inspirde with rage, 
Seeming an olde and miserable man : 
And yet I ara in Aprill of my age. 

Brother, heard you not what the old man said ? 

Ex, 

Enter Vc« bis Lady mad ; and goes in againe. 

See where Venelya, my betrothed love, 
Runs madding ail inrag'd about the woods, 
Ail by his curssed and inchanting spels. 

155 

t6o 

16.$ 

7 o 

175 

18o 

I The spell is important, sol¢mn, and is therefore repeated. No particular talc of The 
White Bear of England's Wood is knewn, but similar cases of transformation are plentiful. 
 Dy. printe ' 'chanting' ; needlessly. 



358 Te Old lives Tale 

Enter LAMPRISCU$ oith a pot of honny. 

But here comes Lampriscus, my discontented neighbour. How 
now, neighbour, you looke towarde the ground as well as I; you 
muse on something. 
Lamp. Neighbour on nothing, but on the marrer I so often mooved 
to vou : if vou do any thing for charity, helpe me ; if for neighbor- 
hod or brotherhood, helpe me: never was one so combered as is 19o 
poore Lampryscus : and to begin, I pray receive this porte of honny 
to mend  vour rare. 
OM man. Thankes, neighbor, set it downe; 
Honnv is alwaies welcome to the Beare. 
And now, neighbour, let me heere the cause of your comming. 
Lampriscus. I ara (as you knowe, neighbour)a man unmaried, 
and lived so unquietly with mv two wives, that I keepe everv veare 
hoir the dav wherein I buried them both: the first ,vas on Saint 
Andrewes cay, the other on Saint Lukes. - 
Old man. And now, neighbour, vou of this country say, your uoo 
custome is out: but on with your ta'le, neighbour. 
Lamp. By mv first wife, whose tongue wearied me alive, and 
sounded in mv eares like the clapper of a great bell, whose talke 
was a continull torment to ail that dweit bv her, or lived nigh her, 
you have heard me sav I had a handsome daughter. 205 
Old man. True, néighbour. 
Lampr. Shee it is that afflictes me with her continuall clamoures, 
and hangs on me like a butte: poore shee is, and proude zhee is; as 
poore as a sheepe new shorne, and as proude of her hopes, as a pea- 
cock of her talle well growne. .o 
Old man. XVell said, Lampryscus, you speake it like an Eng- 
lishman. 
Lampr. As curst as a waspe, and as frowarde as a childe new 
taken from the mothers teate; shee is to my age, as smoake to the 
eyes, or as vinegar to the teeth. 

3 Below ' mend,' Sig. B iii. 
 B. notes that "St. Luke's Day (I Sth October) was the day of Horn Fait ; and St. Luke 
was jocularly regarded as the patron saint of cuckolds. St. Andrew as supposed to bfing good 
|uck to loyers." ... 



TAe Old II/ïv2es Tale 

359 

Old man. Holily praised, neighbour, as much for the next. 
Lampr. By my other wife I had a daughter, so hard favoured, 
so foule and iii faced, that I thinke a grove full of golden trees, 
and the leaves of rubies and dyamonds, would not bee a dowrie 
annswerable to her deformitie. 22o 
Old man. Vell, neighbour, nowe you have spoke, heere me 
speake ; send them to the well for the water of lire:  there shall 
they finde their fortunes unlooked for. Neighbour, farewell. Exit. 
Lampr. Farewell and a thousand; 2 and now goeth poore Lam- 
pryscus to put in execution this excellent counsell. Exeunt. 225 
Frol. ,Vhy this goes rounde without a fidling stick. But doo 
you heare, Gammer, was this the man that was a beare in the 
night, and a man in the day ? 
Old voman. I, this is hee ; and this man that came to him was a 
beggar, and dwelt uppon a greene. But sofi, who cornes here ? O 230 
these are the harvest men ; ten to one they sing a song of mowing. 
F.nter tbe barvest men a singing, rvith this 
SOG double repeated. 8 
Ail yee that lovely loyers be, pray you for me. 
Loe here we corne a sowing, a sowing, 
And sowe sweete fruites of love: 
In your sweete hearts well may it proove. Exeunt. 25 
Enter Hu^NE^o  vvitb bi tvvo hand word, and Boov  tbe Clovvne. 
Fant. Gammer, what is he ? 
Old woman. 0 this is one that is going to the Conjurer; let him 
alone; here what he sayes. 

1 The reference is to the t-aie preserved in several versions and known as «' The Three 
Heads of the Well," Jacobs Englisb Fairy Tales, p. zz. «« The Well of the World's 
Encl,'" p. z 5, howevcr, bas the incident of filling a sieve. 
z So « God ye good nigh b and twenty sir ! "" In Middlemn's Trick to Catch tbe OM 
One -- « A thousand farewells." Compare the well-known forms of greeting, as «' Griiss" 
mbr mein Liebchen zehntausend mal !'" e the elahorate message at the opening of the ballad 
Cbilde lIaurice, a Sec Appendix B on this Song.  Sec Appendix /. 
 The * Booby' is Inter called ' Corebus" or « Chorebus." Sec Harvey, Tbe Timming of 
Tbomas Nasbe, Grosart, III. z 9 : *'Thou mayest he cald the very Choroehus of out rime» of 
whom the proverbe was sayde» more foole than Choroebus : who was a sedy ideo b but yet had 
the n.ame of a wi man.' ' . . . 



300 TA e O ld l¢i v e s Tale 

Huan. Now by Mars and Mercury, Jupiter and Janus, Sol and 
Saturnus, Venus and Vesta, Pallas and Proserpina, and by the honor 240 
of my house Polimackeroeplacydus,  it is a wonder to see what this 
love will make silly fellowes adventure, even in the wane of their 
wits and infansie of their discretion. Alas, my friend, what fortune 
calles thee foorth to seeke thy fortune among brasen gates inchanted 
towers, tire and brimstone, thunder and lightning ? Beautie, I tell 245 
thee, is peerelesse, and she precious whom thou affectest : do offthese 
desires, good countriman, good friend, runne away from thy selfe, and 
so soone as thou canst, forget her; whom none must inherit but 
he that can monsters tame, laboures atchive riddles absolve, loose 
inchantments, murther magicke, and kill conjuring : and that is the 250 
great and mighty Huanebango. 
Booby. Harke you sir, harke you. First know I bave here the 
flurting feather, and bave given the parish the start for the long 
stocke.  Nowe sir, if it bee no more but running through a little 
lighming and thunder, and riddle me, riddle me, what's this, 3 Ile 255 
bave the wench from the Conjurer if he were ten Conjurers. 
1-tuan. I bave abandoned the court and honourable company, to 
doo my devoyre against this sore sorcerer and mighty magitian : if 
this Ladie be so faire as she is said to bee, she is mine, she is mine. 
A.leus, mea, meum, in contemptum omnium grammaticorum. 260 
Booby. O falsum Latinum .t the faire maide is minum, cum apur- 
tinantibus gibletes and ail. 
Huan. If shee bee mine, as I assure my selfe the heavens will 
doo somewhat to reward my worthines, shee shall bee allied to 
none of the meanest gods, but bee invested in the most famous 265 
1 Mr. Fleay thinks this is a pun upon that eternal theme of satire for Harvey's enemlcs, the 
rope-maker's t-rade of his father. "The namesl'" Mr. Fleay saysl " for the stock of Huane- 
bango are adapted from Plautus, Polymachœeroplacidus { from Pseudulus), P)rgopolinices [ from 
llliles GloriosusJ, in shapes which inevitably suggest English puns indicafing Harvey's rope- 
making extraction, Polly-make-a. rope-lass, and Perg-up-a-line-O .... "" Mr. Fleay is bold. 
• 2 A difficult passage. Dy. thinks the stock is a sword, --Corebus "bas run away from 
the Parish, and become a sort of knight-errant." Dr. Nicholson : " He has started and they 
may catch" (if they tan ) and as a vagabond put him in the stocks. B. makes the clown plume 
himself on lais finery. He points with pride te his feather; and he is ec/ually proud of his 
fashionable "long stock" (i.e. the stecking fastened high above the knee). This gives ber- 
ter sense than the second explanation ; Corebus asterts a sort of ec/uality with Huanebango. 
a The euccoeful guessing of nddles wins a bride, fortune» libertï» what hot» in many a folk- 
raie. 



7"Ae Old IVives Tale 3 6 t 

stocke of Huanebango Polimackeroeplacidus, my grandfather, my 
father Pergopolyneo, my mother Dyonora de Sardynya, famouslie 
descended. 
B00by. Doo you heare, sir, had hOt you a cosen, that was called 
Gustecerydis ? 27 o 
Huan. Indeede I had a cosen, that sometime followed the 
court infortunately, and his name Bustegustecerydis. 
Booby. 0 Lord I know him well; hee is the I knight of the 
neates feete. 
Huan. 0 he lov'd no capon better. He hath oftentimes deceived 275 
his boy of his dinner; that was his fault, good Bustegustecerydis. 
B00by. Corne, shall we goe along ? 2 Sort, here is an olde man at 
the Crosse; let us aske him the way thither. Ho, you Gaffer, I 
pray you tell where the wise man the Conjurer dwells. 
Huan. XVhere that earthly Goddesse keepeth hir abode, the 28o 
commander of my thougts, and faire Mistres of my heart. 
Old man. Faire inough, and farre inough from thy fingering, 
sonne. 
Huan. I will followe my fortune after mine owne fancie, and 
doo according to mine owne discretion. 285 
Old man. Yet give some thing to an old man before vou goe. 
Huan. Father, mee thinkes a peece of this cake ight serve 
your turne. 
Old man. Yea, sonne. 
Huan. Huanebango giveth no cakes for almes; aske of them 29o 
that give giftes for poore beggars. Faire Lady, if thou wert once 
shrined in this bosome, I would buckler thee hara-tantara. Exit. 
Booby. Father, doo you see this man ? You litle thinke heele run 
a mile or two for such a cake, or passe for8 a pudding. I tell you, 
Father, hee has kept such a begging of mee for a peece of this cake ! 295 
XVhoo, he comes uppon me with a superfantiall substance, and the 
foyson 4 of the earth, that I know hOt what he meanes. If[ hee came 
to me thus, and said, ' my friend Booby,' or so, why I could spare him 
a peece with ail my heart; but when he tells me how God hath 
enriched mee above other fellowes with a cake, why hee makes 3oo 
 Beiow  the,' Sig. (2.  Enter Erestus. S care for. 
 pient,/. Corebus luote the stilted talk of Huanebango. 



36z TAe O/cA IFive« Tale 

me blinde and deafe at once. Yet, father, heere is a peece of cake 
for you, 1 as harde as the world goes.  
Old man. Thanks, sonne, but list to mee: 
He shall be deafe when thou shalt hot see. 
Farewell, mv" sonne; things may so hit, 305 
Thou ma;st have wealth to mend thy wit. 
Boob¢. Farewell, father, farewell; for I must make hast after my 
two-hand sword that is gone before. Exeunt omnec. 
Enter SACRAe.«rr in hic ctudie. 
8acrapant. The day is cleare, the welkin bright and gray, 
The larke is merrie, and records 3 hir notes; 31o 
Each thing rejoyseth underneath the skie, 
But onelv I whom heaven hath in hate, 
.Vretche'd and miserable Sacrapant. 
In Thessalie was I borne and brought up. 4 
Mv mother Meroe hight, a famous witch, 315 
Ad bv. hir cunning I of hir did learne, 
To change and alter shapes of mortall men. 
There did I turne my selle into a dragon, 
And stole awav the daughter to the king, 
Faire Del.va, the mistres of mv heart, 320 
And brought hir hither to revve the man 
That seemeth yong and pleasant to behold, 
And v'et is aged, crooked, weake and numbe. 
Thu bv" inchaunting spells I doo deceive 
Those that behold and looke upon my face ; 325 
But well may I bid youthfull yeares adue. 
Enter DEI¢A zoith a pot in hir hand. 
See where she coms from whence my sorrows grow. 
How now, faire Delya, where have you bin ? 
Delta. At the foote of the rocke for running water, and gather- 
ing rootes for your dinner, sir. 33o 
1 This gift of the cake reminds one of a similar motif in the talc of Tbe Red Ettin, Jacobs, 
 though rimes are barri, a r, iags. • Bdow « up' Sig. C il. 



TAe Old lIi¢es Tale 363 

8acr. Ah, Delya, fairer art thou than the runnlng water, yet 
barder farre than steele or adamant. 
De/ya. Will it please you to sit downe, sir ? 
8act. I, Delya, sit & aske me what thou wilt ; thou shalt have it 
brought i»to thy lappe. 335 
De/ya. Then I pray you, sir, let mee bave the best meate from 
the king of Englands table, and the best wine in ail France, brought 
in by the veriest knave in ail Spaine. a 
Sacr. Delya, I ara glad to see you so pleasant. 
,Vell, sit thee downe. 340 
Spred» table, spred; meat, drinke & bred ; 
Ever may I have what I ever crave, 
When I ara spred, for 9. meate for my black cock, 
And meate for my red. 
Enter a FglE, witb a chine of teefe and a pot of wine. 
Sacr. Heere, Delya, will yee fall to ? 345 
Del. Is this the best meate in England ? 
Sacr. Yea. 
Del. Vhat is it ? 
Sacr. A chine of English beefe, meate for a king 
And a king's followers. 350 
Del. Is this the best wine in France ? 
Sacr. Yea. 
Del. What wine is it ? 
Sacr. A cup of neate wine of Orleance, 
That never came neer the brewers in England. 8 355 
Del. Is this the veriest knave in ail Spaine? 
Sacr. Yea. 

1 These trlcks of magie are the staple of raies and chapbooks about conjurers, and make a 
braver showing in plays like Doctor Faustus and Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay. See the latter 
play in thls volum% and Mr. Ward's introduction to his edition ofthe two dr'amas. 
 Later editions omit. The formuh is less uncanny than usual i but the two cocks have 
grim associations. The dark-red cock of Scandinavian myth bdongeà to the underworld. 
See Tbe life f Usber's tf/d/, and R. K6hler in the Gernania XI. 8 5 ff. 
s The local bits are to be noted : praise for toast beef of England, wine of France, and 
girding at Spain, at brewers» --one thinks of Falstaff's complaint about the lime in his sack» q 
friars» and usurers. 



364 The Old lives Tale 

DeL .Vhat, is he a fryer ? 
Sacr. Yea, a frier indefinit, & a knave infinit. 
DeL Then I pray ye, sir Frier, tell me before you goe, which is 360 
the most greediest Englishman ? 
Fryer. "Fhe miserable and most covetous usurer. 
Sacr. Holde thee there, Friar. Exit Friar. 
But soft, who bave we heere ? Delia, away, begon. 1 
Enter the two Brother. 
Delya, away, for beset are we; 365 
But heaven or hell shall rescue her for me. 2 
L Br. Brother, was not that Delya did appeare ? 
Or was it but her shadow that was here ? 
. Bro. Sister, where art thou ? Delya, come again ; 
He calles, that ofthv absence doth complaine. 370 
Call out, Calypha, that she may heare, 
And crie aloud, for Delya is neere. 
Eccho. Neere. a 
I. Br. Neere ? O where, hast thou any tidings ? 
Eccho. Tidings. 375 
. Br. ,Vhich way is Delya then,  or that, or this ? 
Eccho. This. 
. Br. And may we safely corne where Delia is ? 
Eccho. Yes. 
a. Bro. Brother, remember you the white 380 
Beare of Englands wood : 
Start not aside for every danger ; 
Be not afeard of every stranger ; 
-['hings that seeme, are hot the saine. 
I. Br. Brother, why do we not then coragiously enter ? 385 
2. Br. Then, brother, draw thy sword & follow me. 
Enter the Conjurer; it lightens 3" thunders ; tbe 2. Brother falh downe. 
I. Br. x, Vhat, brother, doost thou fall ? 
Sacr. I, and thou to, Calypha. 
I Below « begon' Sig. C iii. - B. prints : * heaven In]or hell shall rescue ber ffom me.' 
 Did this Echo suggest the song in Comus ' 



The Olct l[/ives Ta/e 365 

Fall I. Brotber. Enter two Furies. 
tdeste Dœemones : away with them ; 
Go cary them straight to Sacrapantos cell, 39 o 
There in despaire and torture for to dwell. 
These are Thenores sonnes of Thessaly, 
That come to seeke Delya their sister forth ; 
But with a potion, I to her bave given, 
My arts hath made her to forget her selfe. 395 
He remooves a turfe, and bewes a ligbt in n glase.  
See heere the thing which doth prolong my lire; 
With this inchantment I do any thing. 
And tili this fade, my skili shali stili endure, 
And never none shali breake this little glasse, 
But she that's neither wife, widow, nor maide. 4oo 
Then cheere thy selle; this is thv destinie, 
Never to die, but by a dead mans hand. Exeunt. 
Enter EuMErIOES tbe wandering knigbt, and tbe Old Man  at the Crosse. 
Eum. Teli me, Time, teil me, just Time, 
When shall I Delia see ? 
When shall I see the ioadstar of my life ? 4o 5 
When shall my wandring course end with her sight, 
Or I but view my hope, my hearts delight ] 
Father, God speede; if you teil fortunes, I pray, good father, teli me 
mine. 
Old man. Sonne, I do see in thy face, 41o 
Thy blessed fortune worke apace i 
I do perceive that thou hast wit, 
Beg of thy fate to governe it ; 
For wisdome govern'd by advise 
Makes many fortunate and wise. 415 
Bestowe thy aimes, give more than ail, 
Till dead men's bones corne at thy call. 
Farewell, my sonne, dreame of no test, 
Til thou repent that thou didst best. Exit Old I. 
I The "Life-Index," so called» of popular hales, connected with the equally popular motif 
of the "Thaaldul Dead.'* . Erestus. 



366 T/e OM lIives Tale 

Eum. Tb.is man hath left me in a laborinth: 
He biddeth me give more than ail, 
Till dead mens bones corne at thy call: 
He biddeth me dreame of no rest, 
Till I repent that I do best. 
Enter WICCEN, Coaosus, * CHURCHWARDElq glnd SEXTElq. 
II/'iggen. You may be ashamed, you whorson scald Sexton and 425 
Churchwarden, if you had any shame in those shamelesse faces of 
yours, to let a poore man lie so long above ground unburied. A 
rot on you ail, that bave no more compassion of a good fellow 
when he is gone. 
Simon. Vhat, would you bave us to burie him, and to aunswere 43o 
it out selves to the parrishe 
Sexton. Parish me no parishes; pay me mv. fees, and let the test 
runne on in the quarters accounts, and put it downe for one of your 
good deedes a Gods name; for I am hOt one that curiously stands 
upon merits. 435 
Corobus. You whoreson, sodden-headed sheepes-face, shall a good 
fellow do lesse service and more honestie to the parish, & will you 
hot, when he is dead, let him have Christmas 
ll'iggen. Peace Corebus, as sure a as Jack was Jack, the frollickst 
frannion « amongst you, and I Viggen his sweete sworne brother, n 440 
Jack shall bave his funerals, or some of them shall lie on Gods deare 
earth for it, thats once. » 
Cburcbwa. Viggen, I hope thou wilt do no more then thou 
darst aunswer. 
II/'ig. Sir, sir, dare or dare not, more or lesse, aunswer or not 445 
aunswer, do this, or bave this. 
Sex. Helpe, helpe, helpe!; Viggen sets upon the parish with a 
pike staffe. 

 Misprint for « Corebus.' 2 Dogberry's distortion of words is about as old as English comedy. 
8 .. assure.  As above : I a gay, reckless fellow. 
 According to Sir Walter Scott "the very latest allusion to the institution of brotherhood 
in arms '" is in the ballad of Beoic and Grabame « sworn brethren "" as theï are» each "faith 
and troth "" to the other. 
o That'a sett_led once for aU. -- Bullen. 
7 Re.nt editions make the Sexton's speech end here» and put the t'est in the stage directions. 



The OMI/Zives Tale 6 7, 

Eum. Hould thy hands, good fellow. 
Core. Can you blame him, sir, if he take Jacks part against this 45 G 
shake-rotten parish that will hot burie Jack. 
Eum. Why, what was that Jack ? 
Coreb. Who Jack, sir, who out Jack, sir ? as good a fellow as 
ever troade uppon neats ]eather. 
llViggen. Looke you, sir, he gave foure score and nineteene 455 
mourning gownes to the parish when he died, and because he would 
hot make them up a full hundred, they would hot bury him; was 
hot this good dealing ? 
Churchwar. Oh Lord, sir, how he lies ; he was hot worth a halfe- 
penny, and drunke out every penny: and nowe his fellowes, his 460 
drunken companions, would have us to burie him at the 1 charge of 
the parish. And we make many such matches, we may pull downe 
the steeple, seil the belles, and thatche the chauncell. He shall lie 
above ground till he daunce a gaillard about the churchyard for 
Steeven Loache. 465 
ll/iggen. Sic argumentaris, domine Loache ;  and we make man), 
such matches, we may pull downe the steeple, sell the belles, and 
thatche the chauncell: in good time, sir, and bang your selves in 
the bell ropes when you have done. Domine oponens, pr,pono tibi banc 
questionem, whether you will bave the ground broken, or your pates 47 o 
broken first ? For one of them shall be done presently, and to begin 
mine 2 Ile seale it upon your cockescome. 
Eum. Hould thy hands, I pra)' thee, good fellow; be hot too 
hastie. 
Coreb. You capons face, we shall bave you turnd out of the 475 
parish one of these dayes, with never a tatter to your arse ; then ),ou 
are in worse taking then Jack. 
Eumen. Faith and he is bad enough. This fellow does but the part 
of a friend, to seeke to burie his friend ; how much will burie him ? 
II/iggen. Faith, about some fifteene or sixteene shillings will 48o 
bestow him honestly. 
1 Below  the," Sig. D. 
 Open the argument from my side (with the ald of the pike-staff). -- Bullen. 



368 T/e Old li'ves Ta.le 

8exton. [, even there abouts, sir. 
Eumen. Heere, hould it then, and I have left me but one poore 
three halle pence; now do I remember the wordes the old man 
spake at the crosse: 'bestowe ail thou hast,'--and this is all,--'till 485 
dead mens bones cornes at thy call.' Heare, holde it, 1 and so farewell. 
llg. God, and ail good, bee with you sir ; haie, you cormorants, 
Ile bestowe one peale of 2 Jack at mine owne proper costs and 
charges. 
Coreb. You may thanke God the long staffe and the bilbowe 490 
blade crost hot your cockescombe. XVell, weele to the church stile,  
and bave a pot, and so tryll lyll. 
Both. Corne, lets go. Exeunt. 
Fant. But harke you, gammer, me thinkes this Jack bore a great 
sway in the parish. 495 
O[d woman. 0 this Jack was a marvelous fellow ; he was but a 
poore man, but very well beloved: you shall see anon what this 
Jack will come to. 
Enter tbe barvest men singing, oitb oomen in tbeir bands. 
Frol. Soft, who have wee heere ? our amorous harvest starres. 8 
Fant. I, I, let us sit still and let them alone. 500 
Heere tbey begin to sing, tbe song douMed. 4 
Soe heere we corne a reaping, a reaping, 
To reape our harvest fruite, 
And thus we passe the yeare so long, 
And never be we mute. Exit tbe barvea men.  

Enter HVANEBANCO and COtEBUS tbe dor, ne. « 

FroL Soft, who have we here ? 
OM w. 0 this is a cholerick gentleman ; ail you that love your 
hves, keepe out of the smell of his two-hand sworde : nowe goes he 
to the conjurer. 

RoEent e. [Gimes money]. 
on. 

4 Sec Appendix B. 
 Below ' men," S]g. D il. 
 B. points out that Corehus enters a moment later. 

505 



"lAe OM ll/'ives Tale 369 

Fant. Me thinkes the Conjurer should put the foole into a 
jugling boxe. 5 io 
Huan. Fee, fa, furn, 1 here is the Englishman, 
Conquer hirn that can, carne for his lady bright, 
To proove himselfe a knight, 
And win her love in fight. 
Cor. Who-hawe, maister Bango, are you here ? heare you, you 5 x5 
had best sit downe heere, and beg an aimes with me. 
Huan. Hence, base cullion, heere is he that cornmaundeth in- 
gresse and egresse with his weapon, and will enter at his voluntary, 
whosover saith no. 
1 voice and flame of tire : HUANEBANaO falleth downe. 
Ioice. No. 52o 
Old w. So with that, they kist, and spoiled the edge of as good 
a two hand sword, as ever God put lire in; now goes Corebus in, 
spight of the conjurer. 
Ettter tbe Conjurer, & strike CoEBvs Minde.* 
8act. Away with hirn into the open fields, 
To be a ravening pray to crowes and kites : a 525 
And for this villain, let hirn wander up & downe 
In nought but darkenes and eterna|! night. 4 
Cor. Heer hast thou slain Huan, a slashing knight, 
And robbed poore Crebus of his sight. Exit. 
Sacr. Hence, villaine, hence. 53 ° 
Now I bave unto Delya given a potion of forgetfulnes, 
That when shee cornes, shee shall not know hir brothers. 
Lo where they labour, like to country slaves, 
With spade and rnattocke on this inchaunted ground! 

! «* The ' fee-fi-folfum " formula is common to ail Engllsh stofies of giants and ogres 
also occurs in Peele's play and in King Lear .... Messrs. Jones and Kroff bave some 
remarks on it in their ' Magyar Tales," pp. 34o-34 ; so has Mr. Lang in his ' Perrault,' 
p. Ixiil, where he traces it to the fufies in ASschylus' Eumenides.'"--Jacobs, Eng. Fairy 
Tales, p. z43. 
 Recent eds. -- Enter Sacrapant the Conjurer and Two Furies. 
 Recent ed8.  Huanebango is carried out by the Two Furie.s. 
t Recent eds. --$tries Corebus blind. 



37 ° TAe Old Iives Tale 

Now will I call hir by another name, $35 
For never shall she know hir selfe againe, 
Untill that Sacrapant bath breathd his lasto 
See where she comes. Enter Delya. 
Corne hither, Delya, take this gode. 1 
Here, hard 2 at hand, two slaves do worke and dig for gold i $40 
Gore them with this & tbou shalt bave inough. 
He gives bir a gode. 
DeL Good sir, I know hOt what you meane. 
Sacra. She hath forgotten tobe Delya, 
But not forgot the same  she should forger : 
But I will change hir name. 545 
Faire Berecynthia, so this country calls you, 
Goe ply these strangers, wench, they dig for gold. Exit Sacrapant. 
Delya. O heavens ! how ara I beholding to 4 this faire yong man. 
But I must ply these strangers to their worke. 
See where they come. 550 
Enter tbe two Brotbers in tbeir shirts, witb spades, digging. 
I. Brother. 0 Brother, see where Delya 
. Brother. 0 Delya, happy are we to see thee here. 
Delya. Vhat tell you mee of Delya, prating swaines ? 
I know no Delya nor know I what you meane; 
Ply you your work, or else you are like to smart. 555 
I. Brother. XVhy, Delya, knowst thou hOt thy brothers here. 
xVe corne from Thessalie to seeke thee forth, 
And thou deceivest thy selfe, for thou art Delya. 
Delya. Yet more of Delya ? then take this and smart : 
XVhat, faine you shifts for to defer your labor ? 560 
,Vorke, villaines, worke, it is for gold you digg. 

goad. 
In this and like cases the editors restore a tolerable met're by different printing. Thu 
Here hard' may be taken as part of the preceding line. 
Dr. Nicholson would read ' name" to no advantage. Sacrapant says she has forgotten h 
naine, but has hOt forgotten as much as she ought to forget. The phrase is awkward, but i 
rhaps more "intelligible "" than Mr. Bullen allows. 
Below ' to,' Sig. D iii. 



'Ae Old lI/ïves Tale 37 

2. Br. Peace, brother, peace, thts vild inchanter 
Hath ravisht Delya of hir sences cleane, 
And she forgets that she is Delya. 
z. Br. Leave, cruell thon, to hurt the miserable ; 565 
Digg, brother, digg, for she is hard as steele. 
Here they dig & descry the hgbt under a litt/e hiltl 
2. Br. Stay, brother, what hast thon descride ? 
Del. Away & touch it hOt; it is some thing that my lord hatl 
hidden there. 8he «overs it agen. 
Enter SACRAPANTo 
8acr. Well sed, 1 thon plyest these pyoners well. 
in, you labouring slaves. 
Corne, Berecynthia, let us in likewise, 
And heare the nightingale record hir notes. Exeunt omnes. 
Enter ZANPPA, the curst daughter, to the IFell,  witb a pot in hir hand. 
Zant. Now for a husband, bouse and home; God send a good 
one or none, I pray God. My father bath sent nie to the well for 575 
the water of life, and relis mee, if I give faire wordes, I shall bave 
a husband. 
Enter the fowle wench to the Iell for water, witb a pot in hir hand. 
But heere cornes Celanta, my sweete sister; Ile stand by and heare 
what she sales. 
Celant. My father hath sent mee to the well for water, and he 580 
relis me if I speake faire, I shall bave a husband, and none of the 
worst. Vell, though I am blacke, 3 I am sure ail the world will not 
forsake mee; and as the olde proverbe is, though I am blacke, I am 
hot the divell. 

Goe, get you 570 

1 Dy. prlats ' Wdl doae ! ' 
 To th¢ popular raie, here phiniy drawn upon, Peele has added an amusing feature whlch 
ems to be his owa invention. He provides the deaf Huaaebango with a scolding wife, while 
the blind Corebus takes her ugly sister. 
s As much as "uncomely" *«ugly,'" as shown by the countless passages in Elizabethan 
literature» and the connotation of the opposite « fair.'" Dvce quotes the saine phrase,- 
"though I ara bhcke, I am hot the Divell . . .'" from Greene's ip fo an Ulstart 
Court/er. 



372 TAe O]d ff/ïves Tafe 

Zant. Marrie gup with a murren, I knowe wherefore thou 585 
speakest that ; but goe thy waies home as wise as thou camst, or 
Ile set thee home with a wanion. 

Hoe be trike» bir pitcber agaimt bir JiJterJ, and lreakeJ tbem lotb and 
goeJ bir way. 

Celant. I thinke this be the curstest queane in the world. You see 
what she is, a little faire, but as prowd as the divell, and the veries/ 
vixen that lires upon Gods earth, lVell, Iie let hir alone, and goe 59 ° 
home and get another pitcher, and for all this get me to the well 
for water. Exit. 

Enter two FurieJ out of the Conjurerj cell and laieJ HV^NEB^NCO 63 the Well 

E, ter Z^Na'trr^ with a pitcber to the H'ell. 
Zant. Once againe for a husband, & in faith, Celanta, I have got 
the start of you. Belike husbands growe by the XVell side. Now 
my thther sayes I must rule my tongue : why, alas, what am I then ? 595 
A woman without a tongue is as a souldier without his weapon; 
but Ile have my water and be gon. 
Heere Jhe o.fiers t dip ber pitcher in, and a heaa JpeakeJ in tbe Well. 
Head. Gently dip, but hOt too deepe, 1 
For feare you make the golden birde2 to weepe 
Faire maiden, white and red, 600 
Stroke me smoothe, and combe my head, 
And thou shalt have some cockell bread. 
Zant. Vhat is tbis,- Faire maiden white & red, 
Combe me smooth» and stroke my head, 

I In Tb* Tbr*e lteada oftbe kP'ell» «ca golden h e up çml 
«* * Wh me and comb m 
And y  down ly. 
And hy me on a nk to  
OEhat I may lk poe 
Wh my  by." '" 
&.. 



The O]d lIives Ta]e 

373 

And thou shalt have some cockell bread.  6o.ç 
Cockell callst thou it, boy ?  faith, Ile give you cockell bread. 
$bee reakn hir pitcher uppon hi heade, then it thunder and lighten,  aud 
HUAIBANGO rises up : HUANEBANCO is deafe and cannot heare.  
Huan. Phylyda phylerydos, Pamphylyda floryda flortos, 
Dub dub a dub, bounce quoth the guns, with a sulpherous huff¢ 
snLi fie, *t 
Wakte with a wench, pretty peat, pretty love and my sweet pretti¢ 
pigsnie; 
Just by thy side shall sit surnamed great Huanebango 
Safe in my armes will I keepe thee, threat Mars or thunder Olym- 
pus. 
Zant. Foe, what greasie groome have wee here. Hee looks as 615 
though hee crept out of the backeside of the Well ; and speakes like 
a drum perisht at the west end. 
Huan. 0 that I might, but I ma), not, woe to my desteniŒE 
therefore 
Kisse that I claspe,but I cannot; tell mee my destenie where- 
fore ? 
Zant. Whoope nowe I bave my dreame, did you never heare so 
great a wonder as this ? 
Three blue beanes in a blue bladder, rattle, bladder, rattle, n 

1 The upshot of much investigation seems to be that the phrase to hare cockell-bread meana 
to get a loyer or a husband. 
z So in Hartmann's l¢odn, a knight pours water from a certain well upon a stone near by i 
a terrible thunderstorm is the immediate result. A fimilar act may bring the milder rain for 
one's crops (Gfimm lytbdogie, p. 494)- 
s Harvey had an indifferent ear for verse and here perhaps, --rince the hexameters follow 
œe hard upon, -- is a neat way of stating the fact. 
• Both Stanyhurst and Harvey were favorites for thls sort of ridicule. The hexameters o" 
the former are described admirably by Nash, and, of course, are parodied here. Huff, Ruff 
and Snuff were characters in the play of King C.ambyses. Cf. too Harve}' in « Greea's M¢mo- 
riall or certain funerall sonnets '" (Son. ri ) : 
« I wott hot what these cutting Huffe-snuffes meane» 
Of alehouse dagger I bave little skill .... " 
 Dy. points out that this is an actual llne in Harvey's Encomium IurL 
¢ Blow ' rattle»" $ig. E. 



374 The O]d ltives Tale 

Huan. Ile nowe set my countenance and to hir in prose; it may 625 
be this rim rare ruffe 1 is too rude an incounter. 
Let me, faire Ladie, if you be at leisure, revell with your sweetnes, 
and talle t, ppon that cowardly Cnjurer, that hath cast me or con- 
gealed mee rather into an unkinde sleepe and polluted my carcasse. 
Zantyppa. Laugh, laugh, Zantyppa, thou hast thy fortune, a foole 630 
and a husbande under one. 
Huan. Truely, sweete heart, as I seeme, about some twenty 
yeares, the verv Aprill of mine age. 
Zantyppa. çVhy, what a prating asse is this ? 
Huanebango. Hir corail lippes, hir crimson chinne, 635 
Hir silver teeth so white within : 
Hir golden locks, hir rowling eye, 
Hir pretty parts, let them goe by : 
Hev ho, bath wounded me, 
Th'at I must die this dav to see. 640 
Za. By gogs bones, hou art a floutlng knave. 
" Hir corail lippes, hir crimson chinne," ka, " wilshaw. ''a 
Huan. True, mv owne, and my owne because mine, & mine 
cause mine, ha ha) Above a thousand pounds in possibilitie, and 
things fitting thv desire in possession. 645 
Zan. The sott thinkes I aske of his landes. Lobb a be your 
comfort, and cuckold bee your destenie. Heare you, sir ; and if you 
will have us, you had best say so betime. 
Huan. True, sweete heart, and will royalhze thy progeny with 
my petigree. Enter Evs«Em tbe wandring knigbt. Exeunt omne. 650 
Eu. XVretched Eumenides, still unfortunate, 
Envied by fortune, and forlorne by rate ; 

1 Usexl by Chaucer to describe the " hunting of the let-ter,*' in his dav srill a normal rule of 
vete particularly in the north of England ( Prologue to the " Persone's'Tale") :  
" But trusteth wel, I ara a suthern man, 
I tan not geste rum, rare, tuf, by letter .... "" 
Professor Skeat (No:e* t0 C. T., p. 446) thinks Peele bas Chaucer in mind, and shows that 
the latter probably borrowed the woràs " from some French source." 
2, Ka" = quoth he. --' Wilshaw" ? [Q).: Will ich ha(ve) ? Cf. I. 64S. Gen. Ed.] 
a Lob's pound» as B. notes, was a phrase of the da) for "" the thraldom of the hen-pecked 
married man.'" 



The OM ll/'ives Tale 375 

Here pine and die, wretched Eumenides. 
Die in the spring, the Aprill of my 1 age ? 
Here sit thee down, repent what thou hast don : 
I would to God that it were nere begon. 

Entgr JACKE. t 

655 

1 It is hardly necessary m correct this into * thy.'  As a ghost, of course. 
$ Below ' runne,' Sig. E il. 4 The "foot-page '" of the baLlads. 
6 These rhyming scraps temind on¢. comtantl)" of the tante-fable, of the formula-jingle in 
popular mien. 

acke. You are well overtaken sir. 
Eum. Who's that ? 
acke. You are heartily well met, sir. 
Eum. Forbeare I say who is that which pincheth mee ? 660 
acke. Trusting in God, good Master Emenides, that vou are 
in so good health as all your friends were at the making hereof, 
God give you God morrowe siq lacke 'Cou hot a neate, handsome 
and cleanly yong lad about the age of fifteene or sixteene yeares, 
that can rtmne a by your horse 4 and for a neede make vour toaster- 665 
shippes shooes as blacke as incke--howe say you sir. 
Eum. Alasse pretty lad, I know hot how to keepe mv selfe, 
and much lesse a servant my pretty boy mv state is so bad] " 
acke. Content your selfe, you shall hot bee so ill a toaster but 
ile bee as bad a servant. Tut sir, I know you, though you know hot 67o 
me. Are hot you the man, siq denie it if you can, sir, 5 that came 
from a strange place in the land of Catita, where Jacke-a-napes files 
with his talle in his mouth, to seeke out a Ladie as white as snowe 
and as redd as blood ; ha ha bave I toucht you now ? 
Eum. I thinke this boy be a spirit. 67. ç 
How knowst thou ail this ? 
acke. Tut are not you the man sir, denie it if vou can, sir, that 
gave ail the money you had to the burying of a poore man, and but 
one three-halfe-pence left in your pursse ? Content you, sir, Ile serve 
you, that is fiat. 680 
Eum. XVelI my lad since thou art so impornate I ara con- 
tent to entertaine thee, hot as a servant, but a coparmer in my 



376 T/e OM llies Talc 

journey. But whither shall we goe ? for I have not any money 
more than one bare three halfe-pence. 
facke. VVe}}, master content your selle, for if my divination bee 68_ 
hot out, that shall bee spent at the next inne or alehouse we corne 
too ; for maister, I knowe you are passing hungrie ; therefore Ile goe 
before and provide dinner untill that you come ; no doubt but youle 
come faire and softly after. 
Eum. I, go before, Ile follow thee. 69 ° 
fack. But doo you heare, maister, doo you know my name ? 
Eum. No, I promise thee, not yet. 
fack. XVhy, I ara Jack. Exeunt Jack. 
Eum. Jack, why be it so, then. 
Enter tbe Hostes and JAc«, setting meate on tbe table, and Fidlers came  to 
play, Ev,EmIES walketb up and downe, and will cate no meate. 
Host. How sa)" ),ou, sir, doo you please to sit downe ? 695 
Eum. Hostes, I thanke you, I have no great stomack. 
Host. Prav, sir, what is the reason your maister is so strange? 
Doth not thi's meate please him ? 
yack. Yes, hostes, but it is my maisters fashion to pay before 
hee eates, therefore a reckoning, good hostesse. 700 
Host. Marry shall you, sir, presently. Exit. 
Eum. XVhy, Jack, what doost thou meane, thou knowest I have 
hOt anv money : therefore, sweete Jack, tell me what shall I doo. 
ac'k. VVell, maister, looke in your pursse? 
Eum. XVhy, faith, it is a follie, for I have no money. 705 
ack. XVhy, looke you, maister, doo so much for me. 
Eum. Alas, Jack, my pursse is full of money. 
yack. ' Alas,' maister,--does that worde belong to this accident ? 
XVhv, me thinkes I should bave seene you cast awav your cloake, 
and in a bravado daunced a galliard round about the c}amber ; why, 7 o 
maister, your man can teach you more wit than thisl come hostis 
cheere up mv maister. 
Hostis. X;ou are heartily welcome: and if it please you to eate 
of a fat capon, a fairer birde a finer birde, a sweeter birde, a 
crisper birde a neater birde your worship never eate off. 715 
1 Probably a misprlnt for ' corne." a Below ' Furie,' Sig. E iii. 



TAc Old IVives Talc 

377 

Ellm. 
content 
Eum. 

Thankes, my fine eloquent hostesse. 
But heare you, maister, one worde bv the way ; are you 
I shall be halles in ail you get in your .ourney ? 
I ara, Jack, here is my hand. 
Enough, maister, I aske no more. 

Eum. Came, hostesse, receive your money, and I thanke you 
for my good entertainment. 
Hast. You are heartily welcome, sir. 
Ewn. Came, Jack, whether go we now ? 
ack. Mary, maister, to the conjurers presently. 75 
Eu. Content, Jack : Hostis, farewell. Exe. ara. 
Enter COREBus and ZELAITO 1 tbe foule wenc, to tbe fFell far water. 
Coreb. Came, my ducke, came. I have now got a wlfe ; thou art 
faire, art thou hot ?  
Zelan. My Corebus, the fairest alive, make no doubt of that. 
Cor. Came, wench, are we almost at the wel ? 73 ° 
Zela. I, Corebus, we are almost at the Vell now; Ile go fetch 
some water : sit downe while I dip my pitcher in. 
l'oyce. Gently dip : but hot too deepe ; 
For feare you make che goulden beard to weepe. 
1 bead rames up witb eares of corne, and sbe tombes ttvem tn ]ver lap. 
Faire maiden, white and red, 735 
Combe me smoothe, and stroke my head, 
And thou shalt bave some cockell bread. 
Gently dippe, but hot too deepe, 
For feare chou make the goulden beard to weep. 
Faire maide, white and redde, 740 
Combe me smooth, and stroke my head ; 
And every haire a sheave shall be, 
And every sheave a goulden tree. 
1 bead a cornes up full of golde, sbe tombes it into ber cap. 
Zelan. Oh see, Corebus, I bave combd a great deale of golde 
into my lap, and a great deale of corne. 745 
1 Celanr-  He is bllnd. $ In the talc there are three heads. 

72O 



378 TAe Olcl IÆives Tale 

Coreb. XVell said, wench ; now we shall havejust 1 enough. God 
send us coiners to coine our golde. But come, shall we go home, 
sweet heart ? 
Zelan. Nay, come, Corebus, I will lead you. 
Coreb. So, Corebus, things have well hit, 75 ° 
Thou hast gotten wealth to mend thy wit. £xit. 
Enter JAc and tbe wa»dri»g k»igbt. 
ack. Come away, maister, come. 
Eum. Go along, Jack, Ile follow thee. 
Jack, they say et es good to go crosse-legged, and say his prayers 
backward - o. how saiest thou ? 755 
"ack. Tut, never feare, maister ; let me alone, heere sit you still, 
speake hot a word. And because you shall hot be intised with his 
inchanting speeches, with this same wooll Ile stop your eares: and 
so, maister, sit still, for I must to the Conjurer. £xitJack. 
Enter tbe Conjurer to the roandring inight. 
,.ça. How now, what man art thou that sits so sad ? 760 
XVhv dost thou gaze upon these stately trees, 
XVithout the leave and will of Sacrapant 
Vhat, hOt a word but mum 
Then, Sacrapant, thou art betraide. 
Enter JAc invisible, and taketh off SACRPN'rS wreath from bis head, and 
bis sword out af bis ba»d. 
Sac. XVhat hand invades the head of Sacrapant ? 
XVhat hatefull fury doth envy my happy state 
Then, Sacrapant, these are thy latest dayes. 
Alas, my raines are numd, my sinews shrinke, 
My bloud es pearst, a mv breath fleeting away, 
And now my timelesse'date es corne to end: 77o 
He in whose life his actions * hath beene so foule» 
Now in his death to hell descends his soule. 
He dyetb, 
 Dyce'scopy read 'tost.' Mr. P. A. Daniel : "Qy.: 'Toast'?'" 
 Milton Cmus, 8, 7 : «' backward mutters of dissevefing power." 
 Mr. P. A. Daniel would read * iced."  Dy.» « Acta." 



T]ze OM llfives Ta]e 379 

ïack. Oh, sir, are you gon ? Now I hope we shall have some 
other colle. Now, maister, how like you this ? the Conjurer hee is 
dead, and vowes never to trouble us more. Now get you to your 775 
faire Lady, and see what you can doo with ber. Alas, he heareth me 
not ail this while; but I will helpe that. 
He pu/les tbe wooll out of bis eares. 
Eum. How now, Jack, what news ? 
ack. Heere, maister, take this sword and dig with it, at the 
foote of this hill. 78o 
He digs and spies a light. 

Eum. How now, Jack, what is this ? 
ïack. Maister, without this the Conjurer could do nothing, and 
so long as this light lasts, so long doth his arte indure, and this 
being out, then doth his arte decay. 
Eum. ,Vhy then, Jack, I will soone put out this light. 785 
ack. I, maister, how ? 
Eum. gVhy with a stone Ile breake the glasse, and then blowe 
it out. 
ack. No, maister, you may as soone breake the smiths anfill, 
as this little vyoll; nor the biggest blast that ever Boreas blew, 79 ° 
cannot blowe out this little light; but she that is neither maide, 1 
wife, nor widowe. Maister, winde this borne; and see what 
will happen. 
He winde tbe borne. 

Heere enters VrL,^ and lreaes the glasse, and Mowe out the light, and 
goeth in againe. 

ack. So, maister, how like you this ? This is she that ranne 
madding in the woods, his betrothed love that keepes the crosse; and 795 
nowe, this light being out, all are restored to their former libertie. 
And now, maister, to the Lady that you bave so long looked 
for. 
tic dravetb a curten, and tbert DL^ sittetb a sleepe. 

I Below ' maide,' Sig. F. 



380 TAe O]d lloeives Tale 

Eum. God speed, faire maide sitting alone: there is once. 
God speed, faire maide; there is twise: 8oo 
God speed, faire maide, that is thrise. 
Delia. Not so, good sir, for vou are by. 
ïack. Enough, maister, she'hath spoke; now I will leave her 
with you. 
Eum. Thou fairest flower of these westerne parts, 805 
XVhose beautie so reflecteth in my sight, 
As doth a christall mirror in the sonne: 
For thv sweet sake I have crost the frosen Rhine, l 
Leaving faire Po, I saild up Danuby, 
As farre as Saba, whose inhansing streames 8o 
Cuts twixt the Tartars and the Russiar.s, 
These have I crost for thee, faire Delia : 
Then grant me that which I bave sude for long. 
Del. Thou gentle knight, whose fortune is so good, 
To finde me out, and set mv brothers free, 
Iv faith, mv heart, mv hand, I give to thee. 
"Eum. Tlankes, getle madame: but heere comes Jack; thanke 
him, for he is the best friend that we have. 
Enter JAc oitb a bead in bis hand. 
Eum. How now, Jack, what hast thou there ? 
ïack. Mary, maister, the head of the conjurer. 820 
Eum. XVhy, Jack, that is impossible; he was a young man. 
ack. Ah, maister, so he deceived them that beheld him: but 
lee was a miserable, old, and crooked man ; though to each mans 
eve h le see] med young and fresh. For, maister, this Conjurer tooke 
trie shape of the olde man that kept the crosse: and that olde man 
was in the likenesse of the Conjurer. 2 But nowe, maister, winde 
vour horne. He windes bis borne. 

Enter VESE., tbe two Brotbers, and be tbat oas at tbe Crosse. 
Eu. V¢elcome, Erestus, welcome, faire Venelia,  
.Velcome, Thelea. and Kalepha  both! 

I Dy. notes that this and the three folJowing lines are taken almost verbafim from Greene's 
Orlando FuHo»o.  It is not necery to adopt Mr. Darfiel's emendafion. 
• Be.low ' Venel' .. F  « Calypha. 



'A e O ]d IÆi v e s 'a ]e 38 

Now have I her that I so long have sought, 83 c 
So saith faire Delia, if we have your consent. 
1. Bro. Valiant Eumenides, thou well deservest 
To have out favours: so let us rejoyce, 
Fhat by thy meanes we are at libertie. 
Heere may we joy each in others sight, 835 
And this faire Lady have her wandring knight. 
ack. So, maister, nowe yee thinke you have done: but I must 
have a saying to you. You know you and I were partners» I to 
have halfe in ail you got. 
Eum. Vhy, so thou shalt, Jack. 840 
ack. SVhy, then, maister draw your sworde, part your Lady, let 
mee have halle of her presently. 
Eumenid. Why, I hope, Jack, thou doost but jest ; I promist thee 
halfe I got, but hot halfe my Lady. 
ack. But what else, maister? bave you hOt gotten her ? There- 845 
fore devide her straight, for I will bave halfe ; there is no remedie. 
Eumen. Well, ere I will falsifie my worde unto my friend, take 
ber ail; heere Jack, Ile give her thee. 
acke. Nay, neither more nor lesse, maister, but even just halle. 
Eum. Before I will falsifie my faith unto my friend, I will divide 85o 
hir; Jacke, thou shalt bave halle. 
1. Brother. Bee hOt so cruell unto out sister, gentle knight. 
. Brother. 0 spare faire Delia; shee deserves no death. 
Eum. Content your selves; my word is past to him; therefore 
prepare thy selfe, Delya, for thou must die. 855 
Delya. Then, farewell, worlde; adew Eumenides. 

He offers to strike and J^cKE staies bim. 

acke. Stay, master; it is sufficient I have tride your constancie. 
Do you now remember since you paid for the burying of a poore 
fellow ? 
Eum. I, very well, Jacke. 
acke. Then, toaster, thanke that good deed for this good turne, 
and so God be with you ail. 

860 

J,cKE leapes downe in tbe ground. 



382 TAe OM lives Tale 

Eum. Jacke, what, art thou gone ? 
Then farewell, Jacke. 
Corne, brotbers and my beauteous De]ya, 86 
Erestus, and thy deare Venelia : 
Ve will to Thessalie with joyfull hearts. 
4ll. Agreed, we follow thee and Delya. 
Exeuttt ottttte$, l 
Fant. What, Gammer, a sleepe ? 
Old wom. By the Mas, sonne, tis almost day, and my windowes 870 
shut z at the cocks crow. 
FroL Doo you heare, Gammer, mee thinkes this Jacke bore a 
great sway amongst them. 
Old ivom. O, man, this was the ghost of the poore man, that 
they kept such a coyle to burie, & that makes him to help the 875 
wandring knight so much. But come, let us in: we will have a cup 
of aie and a tost this morning and so depart, z 
Fant. Then you have made an end of your tale, Gammer ? 
Old wom. Yes, faitb. Vhen this was done, I tooke a peece of 
bread and cheese, and came my way, and so shall you have, too, 880 
before you goe, to your breakefast. 

I That is, ail the actot ofthe play withln the play. Bdow « Oranes»" Sig. F i. 
 Q., sbuts. 8 Pa. 

FINIS. 

Prlnted at London by tbn Damer, for Rapb 
Hancocke, and tobn Hardie, and are to 
be solde at the shop over against 
Saint Giles lais Church with- 
out Criplegate. 
595- 



APPENDIX 

A. Characters: their Sources. -- T. Warton, in 78ç (Milton' Po« 
wh 8«v«ral Oeeaiom), pointed out that '" the names of some of the charac- 
ters as Sacrapant, Chorebus, and others, are taken from the Orlando Farioo." 
Peele quotes Ariosto freely near the end of Edward I. Storojenko (Grosart's 
Gr««n¢, I, 8o) thinks the Sacrapant in Greene's Orlando Farioo "'a ver), 
transparent parody of 2"mlmrlain«." Mr. Fleay, with some daring, asserts 
that Huanebango is travestied from Huon o" Bordeaux, and is " palpably 
Harvey." Erestus, says the same authority, is from Kyd's 8olima» and 
P«r«da ; " the play is evidently full of personal allusions, which time only 
can elucidate." Mr. Ward remarks that Jack is "" namesake and rival of 
the immortal giant-killer." The classics, of course, are represented. War- 
ton remarked that the story of Meroe could be found in Adlington's trans- 
lation of Apuleius,  ç66 ; but it is hardly necessary to go to such a source 
for the "" White Bear of England's Wood." 
B. The $ong of the H,*rvesters -- When the harvest-men enter again, 
and ring the song '" doubled, "--as here,- it is evidently the saine thing, 
a companion piece, only with reaping in plzce of sowing, and words to 
match :- 
,' Lo, here we corne a-reaping, a-reaping, 
To reap our harvest-fruit. 
And thus we pass the year so long, 
And never be we mute." 

Is it too much, then, to assume that the present song is to be restored some- 
what as follows ?-- 

Lo here we corne a-sowing, a-sowing, 
And sow sweet fruits of love. 
Ail that loyers be pray you for me,- 
In your sweethearts well may it prove. 

They would naturally enter with motions of sowing or of reaping, and the 
opening words would fit the action. Moreover, '" In your sweethearts well 
383 



$84 ppendix 

may it prov«" must ref«r to requital hot for the act of sowing, but for the 
prayers invoked. Thes« craft-songs w«r« comrnon enough. In 8uramer's 
Last FF'il/and Testnment the harvest-men sing an old folk-song of this kind» 
if one rnay judge by th« Hooky, booky of the refrain, said by on« of th« Dods- 
ley «ditors («d. Szg, IX, 4) to b heard still "in some parts ofthe king- 
dom." The curious in these matters rnay find valuable information about 
songs of labour in general, with imitative action and suitable refrains, in 
Bicher's lrkeit und Rbytbmus, Abhandlungen d. phil.-hist. Classe d. 
k6nigl. Schsischen Gesell. d. Wissenschaften, Bd. XVII. 

/ldditional Note.- P. 368, I. 49 t, for  church stile," P. A. Dantel queries ' church 
aie" . -- but see Overburv's Cbaract«rs (lorks» p. 14.5), ' A Sexton "" : ' for at every church 
ttile commonl) thcr's an ale-house." 



l?obert Gcene 

HIS PLACE IN COMEDY 

Monograpb  G. E. l#'oodberry, 
Professor in Columbia University, 
New ?-ork. 



GREENE'S PLACE IN COMED¥ 

OF thegroup of gifted college-bred men who had some part in the 
fashioning of Shakespearian drama and drew into their mortal lungs 
a breath of the element whose trait was faine,'" Greene bas long 
been marked with unenviable distinction. He bad the misfortune 
to try to darken with an earlv and single shaft the rising sun of 
Shakespeare ; and he bas stood" out like a shadow against that dawn- 
ing genius ever since. The mean circumstances of his Bohemian 
career, and the terribly brutal, Zolaesque scene of his death-cham- 
ber--the most repulsively gruesome in English literary armais-- 
bave sustained with a lurid light the unfavourable impression; and, 
were this reallv ail, no one would bave grudged oblivion the man's 
memory. Te edition of his collected works, however, which 
Grosart gave to scholars, bas enlarged general knowledge of Greene, 
and bas permitted the formation of a more various image of his 
personality, a juster estimate of his literarv temperament, and a 
clearer judgment concerning his position in "the Elizabethan more- 
ment of dramatic imagination; and some few, even before this, had 
lifted up protestation against that ready damnation which seemed 
provided for him by his irreverence toward the undiscovered god 
of out idolatry who, then fleeting his golden days, seemed to this 
jaundiced eye "an upstart crow beautified with out fathers, . . . 
the only Shake-scene in a country." Never were more unfbrtunate 
words for the «blind mouth" that uttered them. But there is 
more to know of Greene than this one speech; and though the 
occasion is hot apt here for so complete a valuation of his charac- 
ter and temperament, his deeds and works, as is to be desired for 
truth's sake, yet it is needful to take some notice of his total 
personality as evinced in his no,,els, plays, poems, and pamphletsl 
387 



388 Greene's Place it Comedy 

in order to determine his relative station in the somewhat limited 
sphere of English comedy. 
Marlowe is commonly regarded as the forerunner of the heroic 
strain in Shakespeare, with moulding influence on the imaginative 
habit of his younger fellow-workman in respect to that phase of 
his art ; and Greene, who though he will never shine as a « morn- 
ing-star" of the drama was at least a twin luminary with Marlowe, 
has been credited with occupying a similar position as the fore- 
runner of Shakespeare with respect to the portrayal of vulgar life. 
It is hardly to be expected that an antithesis so convenient for 
the critics should be reallv matter-of-fact. The narrower dis- 
tinct claire that the Cown in his successive reincarnations passed 
through the world of Greene's stage on his way from his old fleshly 
prison in the Vice of the primitive English play may require less 
argument ; and in several other particulars it mav appear that fore- 
gleams of the Shakespearian drama are disce'nible in Greene's 
works without drawing the consequence that Shakespeare was neces- 
sarily a pupil in every school that was open to him. Not to treat 
the matter too precisely, where precision is apt to be illusorv even 
if attainable in appearance, was there hot a plain growth of Greene 
as a man of letters closely attached to his time which will illustrate 
the general development of the age and its art, and naturally bring 
out those analogies between his work and Shakespeare's that have 
been thought of as formative elements in him by which his suc- 
cessor on the stage profited ? The line of descent does hot matter, 
on the personal side, if the general direction of progress be ruade 
out. 
Greene was distinctivelv a man of letters. He was born with 
the native gift, and he put it to use in man), ways. He tried ail 
kinds of writing, from prose to verse, from song to sermon, and 
apparently with equal interest. He was college-bred and must ha;,,e 
been of a scholarly and receptive temperament; he was variously 
read in different languages and subjects ; and he began by being what 
he charged Shakespeare with being,--an adapter. His tales, like 
others of the rime, must be regarded as in large measure appropria- 
tions from the fields of foreign fiction. Even as he went on and 
gained a freer hand for expression, he remained imitative of others, 



Greene's Place in Comed.y 389 

with occasional flashes of his own talent i and, dying young, hc 
cannot be thought to have given his genius its real trial of thorough 
originality. In the main his work is derivative and secondarv and 
represents or reflects literary tradition and example; he was sill in 
the process of disencumbering himself of this external reliance when 
he was exhausted, and perished ; and it is in those later parts of his 
work which show originality that he is attached to the Shake- 
spearian drama. Slight examination will justify this general state- 
ment in detail. It is agreed that he drew his earlier novels from 
the stock-fiction, with its peculiar type of woman and its moral 
lesson ; and he shows in these sensibilitv of imagination and grace 
of style. He was, more than has been thought, a stylist, a born 
writer; and this of itself would interest him in the euphuistic 
fashion, then coming to its height in Lyly ; and besides he alwavs 
kept his finger on the puise of the time and was ambitious to suc- 
ceed by pleasing the popular taste: he adopted euphuism tempo- 
rarily, employing it in his own wav. In the drama his play, 
Orlando Furioso, harks back to Ariosto, and it was when the stage 
rang with Tamburlaine that he brought out llphonsus, King off" 
lragon, and when Doctor Faustus was on the boards that he fol- 
lowed with Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay ; on Sidnev's lrcadia 
succeeded his own Alenapbon; znd if ames II'. with its Oberon 
preceded 4 «l[idsummer N;gbt's Dream  which is undetermined- 
it was a unique inversion of the order which made Greene always 
the second and hot the first. In view of this literarv chronology 
it seems clear that in the start and well on into his career Greene 
was the sensitive and ambitious writer following where Italian 
tradition, contemporary genius, and popular acclaim blazed the 
way ; and in so doif,g his individual excellence lav hot in origi- 
nality on the great scale, but in treatment, in his modification of the 
genre, in his individual style and manner and purport -- in the 
virtues, that is to say, of n able, clever, variously equipped man 
of letters whose talent had not ),et discovered the core of genius in 
itself. 
It is observable, too, in the earlier period of his work, that in his 
treatment of his material so derived, he displays the qualities of the 
weaker the less robust literary habit; he uses refinement, he is 



39 ° Greene's Place in Comedv 

checked by his good taste, he strives for eff'ects less violent, less sen- 
sational, less difficult in the sense that it requires less of the giant's 
strength to carrv them off" well. There is little, too, in this portion 
of his work whch lets personality burn through the literarv mould ; 
that belongs to his late and stronger rime. Itis true that his novels 
bave a moral in them for edification; but, although he had the 
preacher's voice, itis not here in the earlier tales that it is heard ; 
it was the immemorial privilege of the Renaissance tale, however 
scandalous, to wear cowl and cassock. In the cardinal point of his 
delineation of female character, for which he is highly praised because 
of the purity and grace of the womanhood he presented he follows 
the Renaissance convention as it seems to me but with refining 
and often true English touches --that ideal of Italian origin which 
is, on the whole, one of outline, of pale graciousness, of immobile 
or expressive beauty pictorial; these women seem like lovely por- 
traits which have stepped down out of a fram% and have onlv so 
much of life as an environment of light and air and silence can give 
them. Are thev not, for example, as trulv like Spenser's women-- 
except where Spenser's are diff.erentiated" bv doing « manly" parts 
-- as thev are prophetic of Shakespeare's smpler types ? Greene, 
no doubt incorporated in this ideal something of his own experi- 
ence of noble and patient womanhood possiblv as he had known 
it in his wife, as Shakespeare embodied eternal realitv in his creations ; 
but it would not occur to me to believe that Sha'kespeare found a 
model for Ophelia or Imogen in the Lady Ida and Dorothea, any 
more than in Una and her sisters. AIl thCe before Shakespeare are 
of one familv--they are the conventionalized Renaissance ideal 
variously molified and filled with richer artistic life; but in Shake- 
speare thev pass into that clear luminous air where art and humanity 
are one thng. Greene should bave out admiration for his sensibility 
to the type for the appreciation with which he drew it, for the charm 
he therebv clothed his pages with ; but as to there being a line of 
descent, that is altogether another thing; and in respect to Greene 
himself, his special female characterization imports the element of 
refinement in him, the trait of the less robust literary habit just 
spoken of. $imilarly he was of too sound taste to be long content 
to speak in the cut phrase of euphuism, and he soon laid the fashion 



Greene's Place in Comedy 

off; and, in his afterplay on the T«mbur/aine motive, it is a matter 
of debate whether he was parodying or rivalling Marlowe's large- 
languaged rhetoric, and, whichever he was doing, he was hampered 
by a better taste than his model, either laughing at it, or else with- 
out the giant's strength to succeed in the worser wav; and to 
Doctor Faustus and l«riar Bacon and l)'iar Bunga.v, so far as they 
are compared, like remarks apply. Greene bas his own virtues 
in ail these instances, but they are hot those of originating 
power, of creative overflow, of genius of the Elizabethan stripe; 
they lire within the narrower circle of improvement through refined 
taste, or else of satirical protest or comparative failure due to the 
saine trait. 
The thought of refinement in connection with Greene, the stress 
laid upon it here, bas hot been commonlv prominent in writings 
upon him, and is out of harmonv with our raditional impression of 
him--the envious and dying profligate in his miserv. Yet itis to 
be found hot only in his earlv portraits of womanhod of the pure 
type (.he afterward presented a baser one), nor in the fact often 
noted of the marked purity of his works ; but more per, asively in 
his continuing taste, in those habits and choices i» the literars field, 
those revolts and reforms, which show the steadv rightness of the 
man in his self-criticism and his criticism of current successes. I 
seem to feel this innate refinement in the limpidity of single lines; 
but it is plain to every one in the lovelv lyrics which have ung 
themselves into the hearts of ail loyers of our poetry, those songs, 
found in ail anthologies of English verse, which bear Greene's 
name. He was a gross man, living grossly, as all know; but it 
sometimes happens that in such fleshlv natmes -- as, everv one will 
at once think, in Ben Jonson--there is round this I']owér of deli- 
cacy the very fragrance of the soul ; and so it was with Greene, 
and the lyrics are the mortal sign of this inward grace. It belongs 
with this, as bas been observed bv several writers, that of ail the 
men who preceded Shakespeare, G'eene most lets the breath of the 
English country blow through his pages, and likes to lav his scene in 
some rural spot. He loved the country; and yet, here too, protest 
may well be made when it is said that in this he led the way for 
Shakespeare; surely ail country paths were open to the ,Varwickshite 



39z Greee's Place in Comedy 

lad in his own right ; nor need the difference be allowed that the 
forest of Arden is a conventionalized nature, as one critic main- 
tains, while Greene's is of the soli-- that is to mistake art for con- 
,ention; but to say even this one word in passing in behalf of 
Shakespeare's nature-realitv is superfluous except that it suggests the 
different road by which Shakespeare here, as weil as in his dealing 
with madness, witchcraft, and fairvland (in ail of which Greene is 
said to bave taught him), went his own ways, irrespective of com- 
rades of the time. In this love of the country which Greene had 
lies the key to the better man in him and to his own native dis- 
tinctions. Beneath his iiterary temperament which seems an edu- 
cational and professionai veneer that should fi»ailv drop away, is 
his genuine nature-- the man he was; and, lire going on to immi- 
nent wreck, it became clear in his later works that he was more 
and more engaged in contemporary lire, in what he saw and knew, 
and that he took his materiai from these; he had written autobio- 
graphical sketches and accounts of low lire and its characters, and 
he had displayed certain tendencies toward preaching and sympa- 
thies with the unredeemed masses of humanity, ail somewhat mis- 
cellaneously, and without anv other art than a strong prose style; 
but, at the end, is it not manifest that he had grown into realis as 
his material, and into an attitude of moral denunciation and popular 
sympathy in dealing with it, and is not this the significance of his 
collaboration with Lodge in .4' Looking-Glassefor London and England, 
and of his own unique George-a-Greene? Ail the earlier work seems 
to end, and new beginnings appear both in his renderings of con- 
temporary realism, and in his most imaginati e and various play, 
ames Il: 
The gradual substitution, then, as Greene came to his time of 
strength, of frank English realism for cuitured Italian tradition and 
contemporary vital iiterarv example, seems to be the true line of his 
growth. It shows distinCth, in his choice of the English subject of 
Roger Bacon in place of Doctor Faustus, in his satire of certain 
aspects of court lire, when he translated an Italian plot of Cinthio 
into apocryphal historv as ]ames Il:, in his presentation of the state 
of London in coilabdration with Lodge, and in the half-rebellious 
play of George-a-Greene. This is the imaginative and artistic side 



Greene's Place it Comedy 393 

of what is practical in his pamphlets of personal repentance and 
cony-catching. Personaily I seem to detect Puritanism morally in 
the one half, and Puritanism politically in the other half, of this late 
dramatic work; but it cannot be maintained that the case is cer- 
tain. Apart from that, Greene was--what so few ever are, even 
in an Elizabethan environment -- a humourist ; and he used the old 
English comedy tradition as an element in his purely English work. 
The matter is so plain and comparatively so slight as to require 
the fewest words. In comedy specifically he gave examples, which 
he may be said to have first given in the sense that he gave them in 
an original or a developed form, of the court fool in Ralph, of the 
country bumpkin or crass fooi in Mlles, of the highly developed and 
wholly humanized lïce in Adam, of a special humouristic type 
(aptly characterized as the ancestor of Andrew Fairservice) in 
Andrew, otherwise not born tili Sir ,Valter Scott's day, and of the 
true Shakespearian clown, the unmistakable one, in Slipper. Such 
was his definite service to comedy in respect to type; and criticism 
can only point it out, because the substance can be given only by 
reading the characters attentivelv. In regard to humour at large, it 
appears to me that in his hands, apart from linguistic felicity and 
wit, he presents a humour of situation tending toward pure farce, and 
a humour of intention tending toward pure satire of the social variety, 
and a humour of manners tending toward pure pleasantry as in the 
« Vail Staff" episode. The single link binding him with Shakespeare, 
in comedy is through the character of Slipper; and yet here, as in 
the other instances of female type, love of country scenes, and also 
in madness, witchcraft, and fairyland, I cannot bCieve that Shake- 
speare may hot bave arrived at his end--in this case, Launce-- 
without necessarilv being obliged to Greene for assistance. The 
bent toward contemporary realism, toward a weli-languaged and 
winning clown, toward Englishry, which is another name for nature 
in human life and its setting, is plain in Greene; this was the 
running of the stream ; but no iarger inference follows from it in my 
mind than that Greene had worked out his growth, as Shakespeare 
in his apprenticeship also did, in similar directions, but that Greene 
had done it on national lines, whereas Shakespeal'e did it on uni- 
versal lines that Greene had done it in a practical, whereas Shake- 



394 Greee's Pace i Coedy 

speare did it in an ideal way, and that Greene had done it largely 
under personal conditions, being at war with his fate as a mere 
man, whereas Shakespeare did it as a human spirit above the reach of 
material vicissitude. ,Vhat one owed to the other is an insignifi- 
cant detail at best ; what is important is to observe in Greene the 
advancing movement of the drama in moral intention, in higher 
characterization, in original phases of humanity, in humour of more 
body and intellect, in comedy and fantasv approaching the goal of 
the Elizabethan spirit. Greene, it must be acknowledged, opened 
some veins that no one followed up; some of his characters and 
much of his sympathies were his own in an unshared way; but his 
work of ail kinds ended with him, and, so far as he was an explorer 
of the way, he was most like one who, in our own time, may be an 
experimenter in some new force--his name is not associated with 
scientific history, with nev invention, with discovery, but such suc- 
cess as he had was because his eve was on the element which men 
of his craft were working out more thoroughly than he himself. 
It is pleasant to close this brief note on one of the most unfor- 
tunate of men whom our literature remembers, with a kindlier appre. 
ciation of him than has hitherto obtained. The mere volume of 
his writings indicates great industrv; the criticism of them wit- 
nesses our respect for his endowménts, his taste, his fundamental 
manhood ; the analvsis of them shows improvement in himself, and 
the power of masterv over the material given him in the direction 
of the true progress f art in his dav; the verv violence of his fate 
or of his repentances suggests that" the nature so ruined may have 
been of finer and better metal than those who died and made no 
such sign of conscious self-obstruction: there remain the idem 
women, the clear-cut comedians, the Iovelv lyrics, to plead for him 
as an accomplisher of art; and, in view of this, mav we not forget 
the unhappy incident that has made him like the fltting bat in the 
s!ow dawn of our golden poet, and remember the much that he, 
dying so young, at thirty-two, accomplished before the day of his 
disappointment, the night of his deserted solitude, and the tragic 
ignominy of his death ? 
G. E. Woo»v. 



Robert Greene 

THE HONORABLE HISTORIE OF 
FRIER BACON 

Edited witb Critical Essay and Notes 
by Charles Mills Gayley, LL. D., 
Professor in t»e University of 
Calif ornia. 



CRITICAL ESSAY 

Lire. t-- Robert Gteenc was born in Norwich of estimable parents, and 
,' in his non-age '" sent there to school. He was entered November  g, i  7 ç, 
at St. John's, Cambridge. According to his Short Discourse, he was even 
then "'in his first yeares." We may, therefore, date his birth about i 6o. 
At che university he '" light amongst wags " as lewd as himself, and was bv 
them drawn, probably after he had taken his B.A., 178, "' to travell into 
Italy and Spaine," vhere he "' practizde such villainie as is abhominable to 
declare." After his return (probably before Part I. of his Mami//ia was 
entered for printing, October 3, l g8O,--certainlv bv March 2o, t g8t, 
when his ballad of l'outbe  was registered ), he "" rut'eled out in silks" posing 
as " malcontent " ; but having in t 83, " '" by degrees proceeded M.A.," he 
betook himself to London, where as " Author of Plaves and penner of Love 
Pamphlets" none soon was better knovn '" than RoJoin Greene." Perhaps 
he was in Cambridge, September 6, 1583, when the Second Part of ltlami//ia 
was registered, for it is dated "from my Studie in Clare hall." Till about 
August 13, 1584, he was writing similar tales ; and, despite a dissolute habit, 
he maintained favour with some of honourable calling. His P/anctomachia 
appeared in 1585 ; an edition of his Morando  is licensed during the next 
vear. Between  84 and  86 he visited his former home, ruade a fleeting 
effort at reform, married a " proper young woman " of Lincolnshire,  had a 
son by ber, ', cast her off," and returned to London. Here he gave himself 
" wholly to the penning of plaies," which with ,' other trifling pamphlets " 
were henceforth his '" chiefest stay of living." Both kinds brought him popu- 
1 Greene's Groat«'zoortb and bort Dicour*e of ,_v Lfe (appended to the Repentance). 
Grosart's Introduction and Storojenko's Lire in Grosart's Greene, * z vols., Huth Library; 
Dvce's .e¢lccount of R. Greene and isi trritings ; Bernhardi's R. Greene's Leben u. iorifttn ; 
Ward's Hist. Engl. Drain. Lit. AIso Grosart's Nadse and Har,ey. 
 ïoutise Recailetb bi, Former Foilies zoitb an lnoard Repentante. Not extant. 
 Clare Hall, July ,. 
 First pub. 584. 
 If the Isabei in N«er Too Late represents Greene's wife Doll, I may be pardoned for con- 
iecturing that the Caerbranck and Dunecastrum of that story stand for Corby and Doningtor b 
twelve toiles apart» in Lincolmhire, near the Norfolk line. 
397 



398 Robert Greene 

larity and enw. 1 In Ju]) r, ! 588, he was incorporated M.A. at Oxford. In 
Februarv, 1589, this "' arch play-making poet" steps forth in the r61e of 
patriot with his Spanib Masfuerado; soon after with his Mourni»g Garment 
(S. R. November z, 159 o) in that of moralist. The didactic note had bcen 
already struck in Tbe Royal Ercbange, early in  59 o, and the penitential 
in the Farewell to Follie (S. R. 1,87 ; pub. 1591 } ; but both prevail 
in Nevcr Too Latc,'-'  ,9 o. The disposition to serve the Commonwealth is 
further displayed in his series for the exposure of " coosnage," 1591-9z. 
Whatever else he had written he nov counts for " apples of Sodom." In 
Jul),, 159 z, he  " canvazed " the brothers Harvev in his Quip.for an Upstart 
Court#r, but of this we have onl), the eviscerated remains. Soon afterward 
he indulged in that memorable surfeit of pickled herring and Rhenish wine. 
The ensuing sickness at the shoemaker's in Dowgate, -- Greene's fi'iendless 
lot, "' Iousie circumstance," mistresse, 4 bastard, and corpse,--Gabriel Har- 
vevn has embalmed with the foui peculiar juices of his spite. Those last 
weeks Greene spent writing his Groatswortb of lf'it which is partly, and 
his Repeutance which is wholly, autobiographicai, to dissuade men from a like 
• ' carelesse course of lire." He sent back their son to his wife ; and the night 
of his death received " eommendations " from her " whereat he greatly re- 
joiced," and wrote a pathetic tarewell. That was September 3, 
Mrs. Isam, his hostess, garlanded the dead poet with bays ; and he was 
laid in the New Churchyard, near Bedlam. 

Misapprehensions concerning Greene. -- On the title-page of Plane- 
tomachia, 1585, Greene subscribes himscif 
and from this it has been inferred bv most of his biographers 
that he was then studying medicine. But for Greene, as for 
Chaucer and Gower, whom he diligently perused,  phisicke ' some- 
times meant naturai philosophy,n and aiwavs included a ground- 
1 Sec Prefaces to Perimedes (. R. March 9, 1588) ; Pandosto, pub. 188 ; llenapbon 
pub. August 1589 ( perhaps before july, 1588 ) i and Ciceronis .¢'tmorl pub.  589. The dates 
are of historical importance. 
 Pbilomela,  59z is of earlier style and composition. 
 As  chiefe agent of the companie " of poets and writer (Lylv, Nashe, Greene and 
probably Lodge and Perle) whom Richard Harvey in his Lamb of God had « mistermeç 
piperly makeplaie and make-batez." Nashe, Strange Neoes etc. 
 Sister to Cutting Ball, "trust under a tree " at Tyburn. 
6 '6ure Lttter and Certain 8onnets, London, I 
 "' Physique la . . . o techen . . . ofeverichon "' (herbs, stones etc.)» 
« That ben of boddy substaunce 
The nature and the substance." 
--Gowt» Conf. dm. VIL 



Robert Greene 399 

,ng in « astronomie.' 1 The word is here used with reference to the 
' magic natural' of his subject,-- the book being a narrative dispute 
of astrological influences. 
According to popular assertion, substantiated by the arguments 
of Dyce, Fleay, Grosart, and others, Greene was atone period a 
parson. Careful investigation convinces me that this assertion is 
untrue. Our dramatist cannot have been the Robert Greene who, 
as unus Capellanorum nostrorum Capeline nostre Regi«, was in 1576 
presented by Elizabeth to the rectory of Valkington in Yorkshire; 
for at that time he was but a freshman at Cambridge. Nor can 
he 2 have been the Robert Greene who from June x9, x584, to 
February  7, I586, was Vicar of Tollesbury in Esex; because 
according to his own story,Z that period was covered bv other events : 
to wit, the conviction of sin in St. Andrew's at Norvich (while he 
was yet « newly come from Italy," end of 584 or beginning of 
 585), a « motion" which vastly amused his « copesmates," but lasted 
tt ha longer than the present time" ; the relapse; the marriage «'soon 
after to a gentleman's daughter" (sometime in 585); the brief 
sequel of «wickedness" during which he "spent up" his wife's 
marriage-money ; the « casting off" of the wife ; and the return to 
play-writing in London. This last, six years before his death; 
therefore in 586. Such manner of lire is not that of the Vicar of 
Tollesbury; nor is the recital that of Greene if he ever was vicar 
of anything. 
Mr. Fleav  attempts to identify Greene, as Robert the parson, 
with one Robert Persj or Rupert Persten of Leicester's troupe 
acting between December, i585, and july, i587, on the Continent. 
There is, however, no proof that Greene was with these « instro- 
mentalists and acrobats"i nor is the name Persj or Persten, as it 
appears in the Danish and Saxon records, either the Eglish naine 
Parson or a translation of the calling of parson into Danish or 

1 Chaucer, ProL C. T., 44-4zo. 
 As Dr. Grosart thinks he was. 
a In Gros.art : XII. x7#-x79, Short Discourse of rb« L]'e, etc., which has every mark o! 
authenticity. 
 Lift ofSb., 9 z, lO 5 ; Hist. Stage, 82 ; but cf. Cohn, Sbaesp. inGermaoE¢, xxi-xxxi 
{86}, and Creizenach» Scbauspiele d. engl. Korndianten, il-iv (Kiirschner, Nat. Litt. 
Bd. XXlII). 



4oo Robert Greene 

German. Actor King became Koning and Knlgk, and actor Pope, 
Pape and Pabst, wbut Persj, Percy, Persten, or Preston was untrans- 
latable. Indeed, if the argument proves anything, it proves too 
much. For if Mr. Fleay's Persten (or as he coerces it, Priester) 
is Greene, Vicar of Tollesbury, this Vicar must have been acting 
abroad three months of the period during which he was preaching at 
home;ma dual activity terminated, moreover, not by the vestry 
of Tollesbury, which would appear to have enjoyed this unusual 
programme, or by the bishop, but by the Vicar himself, whose 
resignation is recorded as « free and spontaneous." 1 
It is certainly safer to accept Greene's own story and the pub- 
lishers' records, which, taken together show that his marital estate 
was a debauch with rare intervals of business activitv. During this 
period 4rbasto and the enlarged Alorando were registéred and Planeto- 
machia was printed. 
A writer of Greene's self-exhibitive temper would not have 
hesitated, and one of his didactic tendency could not have failed, 
to present the world with an account of an episode which, if it 
existed, was the most sensational of his moral experiences. But in 
none of his writings, autoSiographical, or quasi-autobiographical, 
does Greene give even remçte intimation of taking orders. On the 
contrary he speaks as a layman, and a very wicked layman, too ; as 
one who from infancy was bred in sin, and who held aloof from 
God's ministers. So far was he from the possibility of orders that 
when, in his youth, « once and yet but once" he « sorrowed for 
his wickedness of lire," his comrades could conceive of no huger joke 
in the world than to wish that he « might have a pulpit." Roberto 
of the Groatsworth, " whose lire in most part agreed" with his, was 
never a minister, nor was either of Greene's other understudies, 
Philador and Francesco. In Greene's IYision, which, whether authentic 
or not, is contemporaneous, the advice given to out dramatist " Be a 
devine, my sonne," is dismissed as out of the question, though that 
consummation were most devoutly to be desired. None of his asso- 
ciates of later years 2 betrays acquaintance with his ministerial career, 
I Bp. Grindal's Register, foi. z5, as in Grosart, I. Prefatory Note. 
2 Sec respecdvely Hae vitb T'ou, and $trange Neoes ; To tbe Gent. reader, of" Tbe 
Repentance 159zl A Knigbt'* Con]uring» Ch. IX. 16o 7 i Hierarclale of tbe Ble*sed 'lngel 
165 i Kind-Hart' Dreame, 159z. 



Robert Greene 4ol 

not Nashe or Burbye or Dekker or Heywood or Chettle. None of 
his panegyrists. And of his enemies not even Gabriel Harvey. 
We may therefore conclude that the famous passage in lllartin« 
ll,Iarsixtus which (with a context partly relative to Greene) announces 
that "every red-nosed minister is an author" does hOt apply to 
Greene but to an), « unauthorized author who serres a drunken 
man's humor," or that the insinuation has reference to some sobri- 
quet born of Greene's paroxysms of pentitence and mourning pam- 
phlets. And indeed a nickname mav bave attached itself to this 
wayward child of circumstance, as earlv as that critical period in 
Norwich when his copesmates called him " Puritane and Presi- 
zian . . . and other such scoffing tearmes.'" .Vhat more likely 
than « Parson," since they had gone so far, Greene tells us, as to 
wisb him a pulpit? But if he had a pulpit what becomes of the 
joke ? and of his own word--" the good lessoo, went quite out of 
mv remembrance . . . I went forward obstinately in mv misse"  
As to the manuscript notes in the I599 copy of Thé Pinner of 
ll/'akefield, the first of which states that Shakespeare said that the 
play was " written by... a minister who ac[ted] ye pifiers pt in it 
himself," and the second, in another hand, that Juby said that « ys 
play was made by Ro. Gree [ne] ," -- it must be remembered that 
both attributions are hearsay; that both notes are anonvmous; 
that one or both mav be fraudulent ; that there is no certai proof 
that they were written by contemporaries; and finally that, unless 
their contents are shown to be accurate as wel] as authentic and 
to refer to the saine author, they do hOt connect anv Robert Greene 
with the ministry. Since out Greene's writings show that he was 
no minister, there is but one hvpothesis upon which, assuming the 
accuracy and relevancy of both these manuscript notes, he can be 
the person indicated; namely, that the designation, minister, used 
by Shakespeare: was a nickname. And, conversely, Shakespeare's 
remark can be credited in its literal significance onlv if the play was 
hot by our Greene. In the latter event, the attribhtion of author- 
ship to a minister, taken in connection with Ed. Juby's attribution 
to a certain Ro. Greene, would denote some parson-playwright to 
whom no other play bas been traced-- Robert of .Valkington, or 
Robert of Tollesbury, or some other of this not unusual naine. 



402 Robert Greene 

And in that case it would be easv to understand how the name of 
an obscure author, if mentioned bv Shakespeare, should have slipped 
the memorv of the title-page s'ribe. Internal evidence, as will 
later be seen, is hOt conclusive of Greene's authorship ; but even if 
it were, it would hot prove that he was a minister. 
It ma), be conceded that, like other Elizabethan dramatists, he 
assumed a part upon the stage. But that he adopted the calling, or 
ever stood a chance of enjoyiag " its damnable excessive gains," is 
onlv less improbable than that he was a parson. Dvce's quotation 
from Harvev to the effect that Greene was "a pla.,er'" misappre- 
hends the "puissant epitapher" who was merelv enumerating the 
"thousand crotchets" that [ittered Greene's «wilde head, and 
hence his stories." 1 None of his contemporaries hints that Greene 
was an actor ; none regards him in that light. He himself despised 
the profession. 
In respect of his relations with Shakespeare, I cannot but feel 
that he bas been harshly judged. We shall be justified in calling 
the Shakescene remarks undu[v rancorous when it bas been ascer- 
tained that the « admired inver]tions " of Greene and of those whom 
he was addressing in the Groatswortb had hot been borrowed bv the 
young actor-playwright; or that Greene should bave let hiself 
be plundcred without protest bv this revamper of plays because the 
revamper was destined some dv to be illustrious, in fact to be the 
Shakespeare. I have hot obser,,ed that dramatists et ici omne genus, 
nowadays, offer the cheek with any more Çhristian grace than 
characterized Robert Greene. 
FIis Devel0pment as a Dramatist : Ortier 0f Play.--A painstaking 
investigation of the evidence leads me to conclude that none of 
the plays assigned to Greene was produced before the end of t 586, 
or, probably, the beginning of 1587; that their order is as fol- 
Iows: /llphonsus, Looking-Glasse, Orlando, Friar Bacon, ames II'.; 
and that if Selimus and the Pinner are his, they range respectively 
with «tlphonsus and ames. 
I Dyce, Mccount of Greene pp. 35, 36 ; and Harvey's Foure Letters, pp. 9, 25" 
• z Brown (Grosart's Gr«ene, Vol. I., Introduction, xi. et se. } arranges : .4., 0. F., and 
F. B. (,584-87} ; as. II:, and P«nner (,59o-9,) ; L.- G. (m59*-9z). Storojenko 
(Grosart, I., * 67-zz6 } arranges : w/. (after Tambur/.,  5g7-gg ), 0., and L. -- G. (  598-89 )i 
as. Ik'.» F. ., PÆnner (Sg9-9z). 



Ro)ert Greene 

403 

. The earliest extant exemplar of The Comica/l Historie of 
/llphonsus, King of 4ragon, bv R. G., 1 and without motto, " as it hath 
bene sundrie times acted " was tt brinted " bv Thomas Creede, Lon- 
don, 1599. The play is generally supposec] to bave been written 
in emulation of the Tamburlaine, which was on the stage in I $88, -- 
perhaps, indeed, as earlv as the end of 586. u SVhile similaritv of 
diction and conceit mght indicate a contemporaneous production, 
the lines in dlphonsus,  

" Not mighty Tamburlaine, 
Nor soldiers trained up amongst tie wars," a 

are proof presumptive of the priority of Marlowe's play. Indeed, 
Dr. Grosart is justified in asserting that " to take ,'Ilpbonsus without 
a tacit reference to Tamburlaine is to miss the entire impulse of its 
writer"; for the dramatist appears to be attempting a burlesque; 
and the vainglorious claim that he makes for his hero « is a mani- 
fest challenge to Marlowe and that bombastic brood. Greene mav 
have been writing the play as earlv as I587 ; he was, at anv rate, 
interested in the hero then, for he mentions him in the Dediction to 
The Carde of Fancie. 6 That the 4lphonsus was well known in the 
early spring of 1589 would appear from an allusion in Peele's Fare- 
well, 6 which couples it with Tamburlaine so closelv as further to 
suggest that it already clung like a burr toits mag,iloquent prede- 
cessor. SVhether the series of satiric reprisais in which, between 
I588 and I59O , Greene and Nashe indulged at Marlowe's expense, r 
was stimulated by some counter-burlesque of/tlpbonsus is uncertain ; 
but that Marlowe shortlv before Match 9, I 88, had been privy 
to some public burlesque of a production of Greene's, mav reason- 
ably be inferred fi-om Greene's preface to the Perymedes of'that date. 

1 No mention of the 3L.4., which is given when his name is attached to other phys. 
/llpbomus is nelther mentloned by Henslowe, nor recorded S. R 
 Acted by the Admiral's men,  58-, accordlng to Fleay. Ep. to Ienapbon, which refers 
toit, may have been written as early as 587 IStorojenko). 
 Act. IV. i the lines 78, 79 do not look like additions. 
 Prologue to llpb., I. zS. ,s Ward, E. D. L. I. ]z 4 n. 
 To tbe Famous and Fortunate Generals : «/$fabomet's po¢o and mighty Tambetlaine "" 
(sec Fleay, Lift of Sba&sp., pp. 96-97). 
; Sec Per),medes, Menapbon, lnatomie af ,lbarditie I and the opening, of Gr¢en¢' l"ition 
(written before  59 o). 



404 Robert Greene 

For there we learn that two t, gentlemen poets " had recently caused 
two actors to make a mockerv of his motto Omne tulit punctum, 
because his verse fell short of the bombast and blasphemy with 
which lIarlowe captivated the vulgar. If it was the verse of the 
/]lphonsus that was derided bv these « madmen of Rome," we bave 
here a date belote which tle play had been both acted and bur- 
lesqued. Now, it is interesting to note that our earliest copy of 
¢lphonsus (1599) has neither motto nor colophon. This is strange, 
for in ail other respects the edition is uniform with that of ames H:, 
which had been brought out bv the same publisher, Creede, only 
the year before, with Qreene's "Omne tulit punctum upon its title- 
page. In fact, ail other plays written bv Greene alone, and bearing 
his name, have a motto of some kind." One may naturally query 
whether it was to Çreede's advantae to dissociate this particular 
play from some eleven or twelve ycars' old derision ; or, whether he 
was following, without de'inite purpose, the policy of same previous 
edition, now lost, which likewise had omitted the motto. 
Be this as it ma)', there is, in the preface of March 29, 588, 
undoubted allusion 1 to Greene and Lodge's Looking-Glasse, which, 
as will presently be shown, was written before June, 587. The 
/llpbomus must be assigned to a still earlier date, because, in its pro- 
logue,  it gives evidence of priority to Greene's other efforts in 
serious or heroic style. This conclusion is confirmed by an exam- 
ination of the play. The copious crude employment of mvtho- 
logical lofe, the creaking mechanism of the plot, the subordin'ation 
of vital to spectacular qualities, betrav an inexperience hot mani- 
lest in Greene's other dramatic output. Moreover, in spite of 
the tact that our edition of/1lpbomus appears to preserve the details 
of the author's holograph, the versification makes a clumsier show- 
ing than in the rest of his plays. The lines are frequently 
rhymed, sometimes within the speeches, but more often in a per- 
functory fashion at speech-ends. And, though this practice wanes 
as the play proceeds, the verses are throughout more frequently end- 

1 « The mad preest of the sonne." 
 Venus's lines, 4o-4.5, which would place this play after a series of love pamphlets, and 
belote the treatment of graver themes. Sec Simpson, .: 35.. Mr. Fleay unhesitatingly 
assigns its production to 587 (Lift of Sba«sp., pp. 96, 97)- 



Ro]ert Greene 4o5 

stopped, and the rhythm more mechanical, than in the other dramas. 
Between two-thirds and three-quarters of the lines bave the monoto. 
nous coesura at the end of the second foot; and of the lyric cœ. 
surœe, which should par excellence lend varietv" to the verse, abcut 
eleven-twelfths fall in the middle of the third foot. .Ve mav 
indeed sav" that in four-fifths of the lines these sources of same- 
ness prevail. Of prose there is no sign. Both in material and 
style the play is inelastic, onlv too easilv" open to attack. That 
(ï]'reene should prefix the Om,e tulit punctum of his popular prose 
romances was natural, but it was also courting the attack of 
Marlowe, Kvd, or anv gentleman-poets derisivelv incline& 
2. ,4 Looking-Glasse'for London and England ruade bv Thomas 
Lodge, Gentleman, and Robert Greene, in ,]rtil, us AZragister, iS 
called bv Professor Brown the "finest and last " of the plays in which 
Greene had a hand, and is assigned to a date "after Lodge's return 
from Cavendish's expedition in  59 -" This conjecture ma,,, at once 
be dismissed, 1 for that expedition did not start till August 26,  59  ; 
noneof its ships returned before June  , 593; and, bv that time, 
Greene was dead. The play was registered in M.ay;  594, and 
our earliest exemplar (Creede)was printed in the saine vear. 
Henslowe records the presentation of the play, but hot as new, 
March 8, 59-92. We have abundant proof of its popularity. 
Therefore, since only four representations are recorded during the 
remainder of that season, which lasted till June 2z, 59,  it must 
bave had its run at an earlier date. Spencer's line in Tbe 7"ears of 
tbe 21luse,  59 , about the " pleasing Alcon '" bas been regarded as 
an allusion to Lodge's authorship of that character in the Looking- 
Glae; and with some show of reason, for nearly ail the speeches 
of Alcon are distinctively the work of Lodge. But an earlier remi- 

I See for this, Grosart, 'ntrvd. xxv. xii. ; Simpson, z : 38. ; and Ward. 
2 Cf. Tb¢ Knacl, etc., which as a " new "" play ,as acted thrice in the fortnight ( 
 Fleay assigns «« most and best " of the play to Lodge. Grosart dsagrees but does not 
specify. A comparative investigation satisfies me that only the following pasges can be assigned 
to Lodge: Sc. iii. (Dy., pp. zo-zz ; Gos., 11. 39-4go Usurer, Thrasyb., Akon, as fa 
as Enter Rerailia; Sc. v. (Dy., pp. z4-a6; Gros., 11. 65.1.-868 ) Alcon, Thr., Lady., 
Judge, Usur., as far as Enter ldam; Sc. vil. (Dy., pp. zg, 3o; Gros., 11. 
Jonas, Angel, Merchants, etc. ; Sc. x. (Dy., pp. 34 135 ; Gros., 11. 5z-6o4), Mer, 
chants, etc. : Sc. xiii. ( Dy.  p.  38- ]9 ; Gros., 11.  9oo--oo J Thr., Alcon, etc.  Sc. viii. 



4o6 Robert Greene 

niscence of the play may be round in Greene's mention of Ninevie 
and Jonas in the dedication and epilogue of the lllourning Garra«nt, 
1590. Since it appears, moreover, from a passage in Scillaes A, Ieta- 
raorpbosis, that Lodge had renounced play-writing as early as , 589,1 
Storojenko and Grosart date the composition of Looking-Glasse 
between the close of I588 and the summer of I589. I am sure 
that the date was earlier still ; for, since the ,lI«taraorpbosis fcllowed 
immediatelv upon Lodge's return from a voyage with Captain 
Clarke to Tercera and the Canaries, any such playwriting as that 
of the Looking-Glasse must have been done before the departure of 
this expedition. According to Mr. Lee, z the Expedition sailed 
"about  588." Now the play contains no allusion to the Armada ; 
it is, therefore, antecedently improbable that it was written in t 588 
later tban tbe _,gtb of Alav. And since a modernized moralitv of 
God's wrath impending over London, if written in that year, 
could not bave failed to echo the first mutterings of the Spanish 
thunderstorm, I am led to fix the composition before Ju,,e, t587, 
when Philip and Sixtus concluded their treatv against England. 
The date of first presentation must have Ieen appreciably before 
March 7.9, 1 588, for a character, the t priest of the sun,' which 
figured in the Looking-Glasse, but « in no other earlv play, ''3 is 
mentioned in the introduction to Peryraedes, alreadv c:ited. Here, 
Greene asserts that even if his verse did not alwav "jet upon the 

(Dy., p. 3o; Gros., II. !18o-!163) Alcon, etc., to Exit Samia, shows signs ofLodge pfin- 
cipaily, but some of the lines are Greene's. In general, each of the prophetic intedudes is by 
the author of the scene preceding. E.g. II. 591-1653 , Jonas, Angel, Oseas, by Lodge. 
From I. .o.o ail is by Greene ; therefore most of Jonas. 
I Re vows :- 
« To write no more of that whence shame doth grow 
Or tic my pen to penny-knaves delight, 
But lire with lame and so for fame to write." 
 Nat. Dict. Biog., art. Lodge. 
8 Heay, Lift of Sbalesp., p. 98. Mr. Fleay, conjecturing that Lodge was associated with 
Marlowe in the attack upon Greene's unsuccessful heroic play, and that Lodge is satirized under 
the { Per)'medes ) mention of the "mad preest,'" aigns the L.-G. to a later date. But we find 
no eiidence of coolness between Lodge and Greene during  588 and  589. On tbe contrat), 
Lodge prefixes to the Span. ,llasTuer. { S. R. Februa D , ! 589 }, verses calling Greene his doux 
am* and compagnon de Dieux, and rejoices to be associated with his l'ame. The friendship was 
still fresh when Greene died. Lodgewas hot the "mad preest.'" Nor c.an I adopt Mr. Heay' 
other conjecture ( Biog. Cbron. II. 31 ) that the " preest "" was Hieronimo. 



Rokert Greene 407 

stage in tragicall buskins" or his "everie worde" blaspheme he 
could an he pleased, fill the mouth " like the fa-burden of Bo-Bell, 
daring Goal out of heaven with that Atheist Tamburlan"i and, 
by way of proof, he sets side bv side with Tamburlan, the impious 
ranting of his own « mad preest of the Sonne." The reference is, 
of course, to the scene in the Looking-Glasse where the mitred 
priests of the sun "carrying tire in their hands," hall Rasni as a 
«deitie";l and he assumes that the mention of one of the char- 
acters will indicate the play,--a justifiable expectation if the play 
had been belote the public for nine or ten months. 
Though affected bv its moral configuration, the Looking-Glasse 
is well constructed, in plot characterization, manners (especially 
those of Iow life) in worldly wisdom and fervour, it leaves I/pbon- 
sus far behind. The subtler handling of classical adornment and 
the bubble of the humour would, of themselves, justify us in assign- 
ing it to the saine period with Or/ando and Friar Bacon. The 
advancing maturity is manifest also in its verse and prose. I do 
hot attribute Greene's improvement in blank verse entirelv to 
Lodge's co6peration; for Lodge's verse in the Civil/ ll'ar, 1587 
was not markedly easier than that of the /llphonsus, and his verse in 
this play 9 is but a trifle more elastic than in the Civil/ll'ar. Tak- 
ing at random fifty-seven of Greene's verses, 3 I find that some fifty- 
two avoid the monotone and of these, no fewer than twentv-five 
escape the penthimimeral cœesura as well. In other words," rive- 
sixths of the rhvthms are free, and one-half of these skilfullv varied. 
In the prophetic verses the monotone is properly more p'evalent. 
About thirty per cent of Greene's have it. But even there almost 
half of the ' free' rhvthms display artistic handling. Speech-end 
rhythms are fewer th'an in /I/phonsus ; rhyme indeed, is altogether 
less in evidence--except in the prophetic rhapsodies. Lodge's 
lines for Oseas rhyme, however, more than Greene's for Jonas. 
Not only is the proportion of prose larger than in any other of 
1 The direction .4 hand, etc., might well follow close upon "tempt you me ? "' of line 
764. The passage, 11. 1764-1782, interrupts a scene other'ise suflcient to itself, with a 
pageant of supernumeraries whose utterance is a veritable "fa-burden "" The bit looks almost 
like an afterthought, aping Marlowan style ; but it is manifest Greene, hOt Lodge. 
 For the distribution of authoship, see note 3, P- -°5- 
 Line 8o- 6, 



408 Robert Greene 

Greene's plays,--a feature which is, perhaps, due to the fact tha 
each collaborator had his own set of mechanicals to exploit,-- but th 
style of it is more conversational than in anv preceding English play. 
3" Our earliest impression of Orlando :urioso, One of the Twelv« 
Peeres of France,-'as it was playd before the Q.ueenes Maiestie," 
is published bv Burbye, 1594 . It had been entered for Danter, 
December 7, 1593, but was transfer*'ed to Burbve on the ensuing 
May 28. He issued a second edition in I599 .1 Greene was 
accused in 159 z2 of having sold the play to the Lord Adrniral's 
men while the O.ueen's company, to which he had previously dis- 
posed of it, was "in the country." Now the Q.ueen's men had 
acted at court for the last time December ).6, 1591; and they 
did not reappear in London till April, 593 .a But the Admiral's, 
meanwhile (February, 159z), had entered into a temporary alliance 
with Lord Strange's, 4 through Henslowe and Edw. Allevn; and 
under the auspices of the latter company almost imrediatelv 
(February "21)the Orlando was acted in one of Henslowe's theatres 5 
It was already an old play ; and Henslowe records no later perform- 
ance. During the saine period three or four other plays formerlv 
belonging to the Queen's passed into the hands of Lord Strange's 
company. 6 The date of the second sale of Orlando would accord- 
ingly seem to bave been during January or February, 1592. It 
appears, then, that up to December 26, 1591 , it belonged to the 
Qeen's men ; and it had probably been presented at court bv them, 
for its classical and Italian features were evidently from t'he first 
designed to suit ber Majesty's taste. 7 
That the play was written later than july 3 ° , 1588 , mav be 
deduced from a mention (11. 89-95) of the " rebate" of «mi;htie 
Fleetes" which "Came to subdue mv Ilands to their king;" for 
the allusion to the Armada is historicailv minute (note the conjunc- 
tion of ' Portingale" with ' Spaniard' i reference to the start from 
Lisbon), the sequence does hOt savour of afterthought or actor's 
clap-trap, and the theme receives attention in other parts of the 

z Grosart, XIII. vil., and Arber's S. R. there quote& a Fleay, H«st. Stage pp. 76-$z. 
- Bv the author of Tbt Deflence of Connycaecbing.  Lee, Lire of Sbakespeare, p. 37- 
 Probablvthe Rose; HensJowe'sDiary. For Alle.n's¢op.vofthetitler61esee Dy¢e, ed O.F. 
 Heay ./.fe of 8bak«speare, p. o$. "t So Ulfici and Storojenko. 



Rotert Greene 409 

play. 1 Now, between the " rebate" of the Armada and the dis- 
appearance of the Qeen's men from London that company acted 
at court ten times;'-" and upon at least one of these occasions I 
conclude that the Orlando was played. During the year that 
followed the Armada there are but two such occasions on record, 
December 26, I$88, and February 9, $89 ; and of the latter the 
notice is open to question, a In anv case the former ia more likely 
to be the date of the presentation of Orlando ; for the reference to 
the Armada, and the championing of Elizaheth under the figure 
of Angelica, would be the policy of a court play acted on the St. 
Stephen's day following the Spanish defeat. If this was the play, 
we may be sure that it won her Majesty's approval ; and that the 
dramatist seized the opportunity to further his good fortune. And 
that is precisely what Greene did. In February,  $89, he brought 
out hls Spanish Alasquerado, which was hailed with such enthusiasm 
that his friend Lodge declared that the naine of Greene was become 
a terror to the gens seditieux, that his laurel was deathless and that 
from a mortal he had become a companion of the gods) Now 
I incline to think that the success of Orlando contributed to this 
popularity; there is certainly not enough of political or literary 
worth in the «¢lasquerado alone to account for it. There is further 
reason for dating the Orlando before  59 ° if the resemblances 
between it and the Old Hïves Tale  are due, as I think they are, 
to Peele's acquaintance with the former. And if, in his Farewell, 
the same poet is alluding to our play, under the title of Charlemagne,  
 which, considering Orlando's frequent brag of kinship with the 
emperor is not unlikelv,--the play must have been acted before 
the spring of 1 589. Tlat Greene was occupied wth the Orlando at 
a still earlier date would appear from his repeating in it no less than 
rive of the character-names which he had used in one of the stories 

1 '.g. Oflando's espousal of Angelica's cause and his challenge to Oliver (11. 485-I486 ) -" 
«« Yet for I see my Princesse is abuMe, 
By new-corne straglers frorn a forren coast." 
 l$8. Dec. z6; $89, Feb. 9 (?), Dec. z6i 59 o, Mat. I, Dec. z6; t59,Jan. , 
]» 6 ; Feb. I4, Dec. z6. Fleay, Hist. Stage, pp. 76-80. 
 The date is assigned also fo the Admiral's men.  Lodge's prefatory Sonnet 
 The'Sacrapant' ofboth ; cf. also O. F. I1. 73-76 vfith O. t. T. I1. 8o8-8. 
6 So Collier, ,lernoirt of.dlleyn  Iqeay» Sbaetpeare p. 96. 



4  ° Robert Greene 

of the Perymedes. 1 Nor does the tracing of certain resemblances to 
their common source in the epos lessen the general probability that 
Greene's story and play were written at approximately the saine 
period ; the latter following, as the former had preceded, the summer 
of 588. Mr. Fleay would, indeed, push the date back to 1587 
" when the Admiral's men re-opened after the plague,"° and Pro- 
fessor Brown sers it with that of .¢lphonsus and Bacon, between  584 
and 1587 ;s but I do hot think that the contents warrant either of 
these conclusions. 
Though the Orlando must be of later date than the .4lphonsus, it 
betrays the influence of the still earlier Tamburlaine. But it is more 
than a sensational or spectacular plav ; it is a parody of the ranting 
" mad plays" which were then the rage. Numerous characteristics 
which appear to some critics to be defects of construction are proof 
of this. Orlando's sudden insanitv and the ridiculously i»adequate 
occasion of it, the headlong dénouement, the farcical technique, the 
mock-heroic atmosphere, the paradoxical absence of pathos, the 
absurdlv felicitous conclusion,-- ail seemingly unwitting,--are 
purposive and satirical. Of such a burlesque the author of The 
Spanish Tragedy,  perhaps of the pre-Shakespearian Hamlet, mav 
have been the butt. Greene and Nashe had no affection for Kvd. 
The raving and bombast of this play--the stufl] too, that the actor 
Alleyn in.jected  suggest a parodv of Kvd ; and the dates accord. 
At anv rate I think it likelv that the Orlando  was produced while 
the pi'e-Shakespearian Hamlet was fresh; and this consideration 
also looks toward 1588. 
Many similarities of style may be pointed out between Orlando 
I Dr. Ward bas mentioned the * Sacrapant ' ; but even more striklng is the appearance in 
Per).medes' Talc of tbe Tbird NiKbt'* Exerci*e hot only of * Mellssa * and her çousin * Angelica," 
but of * Brandamant" and * Rosilius»' who at once suggest the Brandimart and Rosillion of 
Orlando. 
 Lire of Sbate*peare, p. 96. 
s Grosart, I. xxvi. 
 Sec above, p. 4.o4.. 
 Between 584. and 588 (sec Induction to Bartb. Fa).re). Maybe as early a 158 - 
 587  Schick, $pan. Trag. }. 
 Note the frequent calls for "re*enge*" i and cf. the « Hamle h revenge!'* a cant 
phrase in 1588-89. Gromrt gives reason for belie*ing that the llenapbon first appeared 
belote july, ,588 {Greene» I. 1o4-). In the Epide prefixed to it» N,rde ridiculed the 
l-lamlet. 



Robert Greene 

411 

and other of Greene's productions during  588 and , 589 . The 
resemblances to Friar Bacon hOt merely in diction, imagery, and 
allusion, 2 but in quality of verse, are numerous. In respect of this 
last the plays may be considered together since they are of a piece. 
Fhey were apparently written within a year of each other, both 
with a view to presentation at Curt. 
4. The earliest impression of The Honorable Historie of frler Bacon 
and frier Bongay (as it was plaid bv her Maiesties servants)is of 
594, and was printed for EdwardrVhite, in whose naine (substi- 
tuted for Adam lslip's, erased) it had been entered, S. R. lay 4, 
of the same year. a The earliest record of its presentation is Hens- 
lowe's of 159-92 : " Rd at frver bacone, the 19 of febrary, satter- 
daye . . . xvij iij.à" The play is first in the list of those performed 
by "my Lord Strange's men"; but is not marked "new." It is, 
however, a drawing play: Strange's men act it about once every 
three weeks, between February '9 and May 6; and once a week, 
between the ensuing January Io and January 30; while Q,_ueen's 
and Sussex act it twiçe in an engagement of a week beginning 
April , '593-94- It must have preceded the anonvmous play 
Faire Em, the zlliller's Daughter of |lanchester, which imitates it 
perhaps with ironic intent. Indeed, Bacon would seem to have been 
acted as much as twelve months beforc Faire Em appeared. For 
in Greene's Epistle (about the middle of 59') prefixed to the 
Fare,ell to Folli«, where he reproaches the imitating dramatist with 
general lack of invention and with profane borrowing from the 
Scriptures, he further twits him with having consumed Ca whole 
year" in « enditing" his foolish and inartistic play. 5 That is to 
say, a whole year from the production of the play which it so evi- 
1CL O. F. 11. 83, 84, with Tullie's Lowe I89) , "one orient margarite ficher than 
those whlch Coesar brought,'" etc.; and O. F. II. 46, 46z, with N. T. L. (published 
«« lfthe Cobler hath taught thee to say -/.t,e Ceesar.'" 
2E.K.  Helen's «*scape"--O. F I. 176, F.B. VI. 3z; ««Gihon,'" etc.--O. F. 
'. 4% F. B. XVI. 66; " Demogorgon," etc.-- O. F. 11. 
«' Mars's paramour'" O.F.I. I54.5, F. B. Xlll. 47- 
8 Arber's Transcript, II. 649. 
 Bernhardi, Greene's Leben u. Scbriften, p. 40; Storojenko in Grosart, I. z53. CI:. 
Greene's Fait lI., tbe Keeper's Daugbter of Fesingfield *'the proxy-wooing,'" etc. 
 "G, ris a jollie matter when a man hath a familiar stile and can endite a whole yeare and 
never be behoidlng to art ? but to bring Scfiptre to prove anything h¢ says . . . is no small 
pece ofcunning." {Grosart, IX. _z3. ) 



4 z Ro[ert Greene 

dentiy imitated. Now, what was the date of Faire Em? If, as 
Professor Schick I points out, its main source was Jacques Yvers's 
Printemps d'tver, it would probably follow the fresh editions of that 
book of I588 and 589 . And it did. I place its date between 
that of Greene's /lddress to tbe Gentlemen 8cbollers prefixed to the 
]klourning Garment and that of the /lddress prefixed to his Farewell. 
For in the former he undertakes to forestall, in general, the " fooles" 
who may" scoffe" at his repentance, and in the latter while he makes 
a show of ignoring the "asses" that "strike" at him (i.e. at his 
]klourning Garment) he specifies one "ass " who may be expected 
to flout his Farewell, riz., the author of Faire Em,--that being 
indicated by quotations. In other words the Faire Em is to be 
dated between November 2, 59 o (when the «llourning Garment 
was registered), 2 and the middle of J59 (when the Farewell with 
this prefatory/lddress) appeared, a Since the "blasphemous rhetoricke" 
of Faire En« was well known when Greene criticised it, we may 
suppose that the play had been in existence since November or 
December, I59o. And if its author had been "a whole year 
enditing " this imitation of Friar Bacon, Friar Bacon must have been 
a notable play in November or December,  589 . But if Englands 
Iourninge Gowne, which was registered july , 59 o, be Greene's 
«IIo«:rning Garment under another naine,  then Faire Em may have 
appeared as earlv as july or August of the same year; and Friar 
Bacon, preceding Faire Em by a twelvemonth, might be dated July or 
August, 1589 . Even if we do hot strictly construe Greene's 
" whole year," we must allow some such opportunity for the vogue 
of Friar Bacon, and for the composition, presentation, and vogue of 
Faire Em before the publication of Greene's retort in the 59  
edition of the Farewell to Follie. Hence the period between July 
and the end of 1589 will probably cover the production of Friar 
Bacon ; but the latter limit might include the spring of 159 o. 
Mr. Fieay, 5 reasoning from the insertion of Greene's longer 
motto as colophon to the I594 exemplar, places Friar Bacon 
1 panisb Tragedy, Preface, xxv]. 
 Arber, and Storojenko in Grosart, I. I 19. 
 Storojenko, as above, |. Z35. 
'1 Ward, O. E. D. cxix. 
 For Mr. Fieay's arguments, sec Ward's O. E. D. cxfiii-cxli. 



Robert Greene 

43 

earlier than the Menaphon (S. R. August 23, 1589) , in which he says 
Greene's shorter motto  is first used. Of the validity of this test I 
am hot convinced. Much more convincing is the argument based 
by the same indefatigable scholar upon a date suggested within the 
drama. St. James's Day, July 25, is mentioned (Sc. i.) as falling on 
a Friday. Mr. Fleay insists that in such cases dramatic authors 
used the almanac for the current year ; and he shows that 589 is 
the only year of such coincidence that will meet the conditions of 
this play. Since the attribution of the exact dav of the week to a 
movable feast is more likely to follow than to recede the obser- 
vance, I should regard July 25, 1589, as the limit before which the 
Bacon was hot finished. Now, hot only the eulogy of Elizabeth at 
the end, but the euphuistic and classical style of the plav, shows 
that it was intended for presentation at court. The only dates 
within the limits above prescribed on which the Ç)ueen's men played 
before her Majesty were December 26, 1589, and Match ,  59 o. 
I lean to the former, St. Stephen's Day, as that on which Friar 
Bacon was performed. 
The relation of this play to Dr. Faustus throws additional light 
upon the question under discussion. XVe must first eliminate the 
assumption that Marlowe's « wall of brass-2 was borrowed from 
Friar Bacon. The sources of the conception were common to 
both playwrights: the Famous Historie of f fier Bacon, a stor'-book 
popular at the rime, and « the tradition already borrowed from 
Giraldus Cambrensis by Spenser. ''a And it is evident that Mar- 
Iowe drew the scene where Robin conjures with one of Faustus's 
books directly from the story-book, hot at ail from Greene's play. 4 
I agree with Dr. ,Vard that Greene's play was suggested by Mar- 
lowe's, and that « it is hardlv too great an assumption to regard 
Bacon's victory over Vandermast as a cheerv outdoing by genuine 
English magic of the pretentious German article in which Faustus 
was the representative traveller." Greene's play is a romantic but 

1 Dropping the Fui miscuit, etc. 
2 I. 86. See Ward, O. E. D., and O. Ritter, F. B. atd F. B. (Diss. Thorn, 1886). 
a F. . III. 3- *o (pub. ,59 o, but privately circulated as earlv as 
4 W. must be mistaken when he refers Scene x¢. of Bacon to Chaps. XII., XIV., of the 
story-book. For the Mlles of :he play does no conjuring i and the de*il who carries him off i: 
the instrument of Bacon's vengeance. 



414 Robert Greene 

humorous, sometimes burlesque, treatment of a theme like Mar- 
lowe's, but familiar to the audience, and attractive because domestic. 
It ma),, indeed, be surmised that some scenes in Friar Bacon are 
parodies of their pompous analogues in Dr. Faustus. 1 I think it 
has hOt been noticed that in the title of Greene's play we have a 
clue to his intention : the ' Honorable Historie' is in evident con- 
trast with the 'Tragical Historie' of Dr. Faustus. For the word 
' honorable' was hot derived from the title of the storv-book. That 
is a « Famous Historie.' If he had acted in accordnce with cus- 
tom, Greene might bave replaced ' famous" bv ' comical,' to indi- 
cate the fortunate ending of his fable. Noother drama that | 
know of, up to 1589, had been denominated an ' honorable' his- 
tory. But, in this case, Greene had everv provocation to empha- 
size the qualitv 'honorable.' For his purpose was to vaunt the 
superiority of the Eglish magician above the tragically concluding 
German. 
This consideration confirms the assignment of Friar Bacon to 
some time within a vear after the production of Dr. Faustus (  588 
end or I589 beginn'ng). So, also, the resemblances in style to 
Greene's other writings of that period. "l'he love theme in" Friir 
Bacon is similar to that in Tullie's Love (1589); the style is akin to 
that of Orlando (1)ecember, 1588 ). These two are also closely 
related as dramatic productions. The earlier, to be sure, confines 
itself more narrowlv to the satirical intent, while the later aims 
in oesthetic respects,'also, to surpass its Marlowan predecessor. It 
is, consequently, an improvement upon Orlando in construction and 
characterization. The dramatist is now working with free hand, 
and, for the first time in this field, employs the ease and invention 
for which, as a story-teller, he was alreadv famous. In versifica- 
tion these two plays continue the methods of the Looklng-Glasse; 
but the rhvmed lines are sensiblv fewer. In Orlando thev appear 
at the end f the first half-dozen speeches; in Friar Bacon'thev are 
to seek. In both plays, about three-quarters of the verses void 
the singsong pause at the end of the second foot. In the Orlando, 
I should say that more than a third of the verses escape, in addi- 
tion, the penthimimeral coesura; in the Friar Bacon, almost a third. 
1 Cf. the summoning of Burden and his hostess with that of Alexander and his pararnour. 



Ro]ert Greene 4  5 

Fhe dodecasyllable with which Greene is experimenting in the 
interest of freedom, is somewhat ffequent in both plays. For the 
reason alreadv given, there is hOt so much prose as in the Looking- 
Glasse, perhaps onlv hall as much. Still, of Orlando, one-fifth is 
written in prose, ard of FHar Bacon nearlv a fourth. 
5" Storojenko I holds that The Scottish Historie ofames the Fourth 
betrays a novel tendencv toward native themes and simple style, and 
that, with Bacon and The Pinner, it furnished the model for" Shake- 
speare's romantic comedies. Professor Brown, pointing out that 
ames Il: is "among the first plavs to bave an acted prologue and 
interplay," thinks that Shakespeare fi,IIowed Greene's example in 
the Taming of the St, rew and the 31idsummer Night's Dream ; and 
he groups tames Il'. with The Pinner and the Looking-Glasse as later 
than the three other plays of Greene, and free from their " alluring 
pedantry."  But we bave alreadv seen that the Looking-Glasse pre- 
ceded both Orlando and Bacon ; and I think it can be proved that 
ames Il: foIIowed them. The unique exemplar, printed bv 
Creede, " as it bath bene sundrie rimes publikely plaide," is o'f 
598 , and is probabiy a reprint of a lost edition of 594 .a Hens- 
Iow makes no mention of the play; nor bave we record of its 
acting. Storojenko conjectures some date after the summer of 
589 for its composition; Brown, some date between I587 and 
I59Z; XVard, about I59O; Fleav, after August 3, I589, 4 
because it uses the shorter motto (but elsewhere,  I59I  prob- 
ablv in collaboration with Lodge). 
The foIlowing observations will, I think, fix the limits as I59o- 
I59I. Ida's lines, 7o-79 in Act I., beginning "And weele I 
wot, I heard a shepheard sing,"  are a reminiscence of the Hem'd- 
groome t, t bis strawberHe lasse in Peele's Hunting of Cupid: " Vhat 

Grosart, I.  84. 
But Grosart [I. xxxvii.-xl. ) appropriately recalls the preëxistence of the Taming of a 
$breo. He queries the sequence,- ames 11:, I. N. O., --but without upsetting it. 
See Storojenko and Grosart as above ; and in the 8. R., Creede, May  4, 1594. 
In Ward, 0. E. D. cxliii. 
L!fe of 8baesp., p. 309. 
ntinuing : -- 
"That like a Bee, Loe bath a little sting. 
He lurkes in flowres, he pear¢heth on the trees, 
He on king's pillowes, bends his prett«e knees .... 



4 6 Robert Greene 

thing is love ? for (wel I wot) love is a thing," etc. 1 Notice th« 
recurrence in Drummond's version of the "weele I wot." The 
"shepheard" to whom Ida bas reference is, of course, one of 
the swains of the Hunting, or Peele himseif. The Hunting was hOt 
registered for printing till July 26, J591; but then with the pro- 
viso "that if it he hurtful to anv other copv before licensed . . . 
this to be void." The proviso was frequently mere form, but it 
suggests that Greene mav bave drawn the verses from a manuscript 
copy, or from the public performance before July 6, 59- I 
do hOt think that the Hunting was written very long before it was 
registered, because the atmosphere and phraseology are still fresh 
in Peele's mind when he writes his Dcensus str««, October,  59 - 
But it is interesting to note that there occurs a premonition or echo 
of these saine verses on Love in Greene's llçurning Garmentoe 
which had been registered in 1 9o, ffom eight to tweive months 
before the registration of the Hunting. We may, with reasonable 
latitude, assign the composition of the Hunting to the year  59 o, 
and that of ames ll to a later date in proximity to that of 
Greene's elI9urning Garm«ntsav about July, 59o. Confirma- 
tion of this conclusion mav be round in other resemblances of sen- 
timent and style between ames llç and the 3Içurning Garment, a as 
well as in Dorothea's reference to the Irish wars, which may bave 
I ntinuing :  "It is a price, it is a sring 
It is a prerrie, pr«rrie thing. 
It is a tire, it i« a cole 
Who flame cre in at e.erie hole .... 
Thls h thc venion of the Dmmond Ms. gmcnt, which diffe flore thc Rawlinoen Ms. 
Sec Dycc, reene and Peele p. 6o]. Famter rmblancm might M cited. 
2 july  or NoemMr 2 : 
"Ah, wt is love ? It is a preRie thing 
As swcctc un a shcphrd as a ng.'" 
 Tbe bepbears igGfe' ng, as in Dyce, p. 305. 
Gr's nscfip oç  66 (IX. ) accinlly omits all but the h 'o lin of this 
a Bid thr urnt identi of tone, nooe such cncidenc  ames IU. I. 2669, 
«demt," cil G. (ript. of Sheph. and Wife, 'alderlirf," an archaism found 
nowh doe in Gne,  but in the Folio of z Henrt" lL I. z8  pmb. by G, Floy. 
b«start, p. 269). The nfiment of Philadoe's roa,lt and O in .1L G. is a tant 
of e Ovidian precr ofames II'. I. l log. 



Ro/ert Greene 4  7 

been suggested by the contemporary rising in Fermanagh ; for, since 
the suppression of Desmond, in  583, there had been comparative 
quiet in Ireland. Though the play exhibits little of the affected 
style which Elizabeth demanded, it is courtly, and the graceful 
compliment to the queen and the (Eglish) rose in the iaudation of 
Dorothea's attributes together with that heroine's forecast of a 
union between Scotland and England, 1 might indicate a view to 
court presentation, and a date of composition when such union was 
favourably contemplated. The further boast of Dorothea:-- 
," Shali never Frenchman say an English naaid 
Of" threats of" lorraine tbrce will be affaid," '" 
was doubtless intended for the ear of the viïgin queen, who, in 
I59o and I59 , was busilv landing forces in France to thwart the 
schemes of ber implacable enemies, the Guises. This play may, 
therefore, bave been presented bv Greene's company, at court, on 
December 26, 59 o, or as one f their rive performances during 
I59. 
The moral atmosphere is that of the penitential pantphlets ; while 
the pictures of roguery coincide with those of the conycatching 
series. The portrayal of character is that of a mature dramatist ; 
the plot is more skilfull. manipulated than in Friar Bacon, and 
covers a larger canvas ; but, though it smacks of the folk, it bas 
hardly the simple domestic interest of that drama. Still, .Vard 
calls it the happiest, Brown the most perfect, of (reene's plays; in 
fact, « the finest Elizabethan historical play outside of Shakespeare." 
The versification of ames Il'. gives proof of" a mature quality of 
experimentation, lecause rhvme prevails, Çollier assigned the 
play to (_;reene's earlier perio(; but the criterion is inconclusive. 
Though Greene conformed to the blank verse fashion as earlv as 
588, he mat4e it clear, at the time that he was no convert. "3 /ind, 
while in I59C-9I he recognizes the merits of" a ficher and more 
varied rhythrn, he is hot 'cet convinced that rhvme shouid be aban- 
doned; in tender and gently romantic passages he counts it utile as 
well as dulce. Some of" the scenes in which Ida and the queen 
figure are, accordingly, almost altogether rhymed. The rhythmicai 
I Lines x 575-x 58o 2655-2699. i To tbe Gentleraen Reader* of Per)'raedes. 
 Lines xgox-xgo2. 



4  8 Robert Greele 

movement is, however, no less liberai than in Orlando and Bacon ; 
the proportion of monotone and penthimimeral is as Iow; and as 
manv as fifty per cent of the cesure are lyrical. Fullv one-quarter 
of the play is in prose. 
Having a regard onlv to the unquestioned plays of Greene» we 
notice that his employment of dramatic prose dates from the asso- 
ciation with Lodge in the Looking-Glasse; that his renunciation of 
rhvme was short-lived, and that its resumption did hot hamper the 
fréedom of rh,,thmical movement. In none of the later plays, how- 
eveq is the verse so elastic as in his own dramatic portions of the 
Looking-Glasse. And there the mobilitv was probably due to a 
desire for contrast with the prophetic ronologues. 
Attributions. -- Various other plays bave, in whole or in part, 
been assigned to Greene; t Histoy of obe,  not extant; part of 
Tbe Troublesome Raigne of King tohn, and of the First and Second 
Parts of H,'nry I'I.;  Fait Emm a (with no show of reason), and 
others mentioned bv I)vce ; Titus ¢ndronicus ;  Tbe Pinner of lb'ake- 
'eld, Selimus, and Ai K/tack to Know a Knave.  We can consider 
only the last three. 
I. The earliest extant exemplar of George-a-Greene, tbe Pinner of 
H'ake.lçeld is in the l)uke of l)evonshire's librarv. The author's 
name does not appear. But the printer, publisher, year, vignette, 
and motto (]ut nunc aut nunquam) are the saine as on the titlc- 
page of the 1599 O,lando; and the same printer, Burbye, had, in 
159 , published other works of Greene: the Tbh'd Part of Connr- 
Catcbing and Tbe Repentante. These items do not, however, proe 
anything concerning the identitv of the author. The play was 
entered to Burbye, April I, 1595. XVe learn from the title-page 
that the Sussex company acted it; and Henslowe records rive of 
these performances between l)ecember z9, 1593, and January zz, 
1594. But, though the Sussex men soon afterwards twice assisted 
Greene's former company in the presentation of Friar Bacon, they 

1 S. R. 594. 
 Fleay, H«t. Stage, pp. ]99, 4 °0 ; Life of Sbakesp., p. z 55 et seoE. He guesses also Truc 
Cbron. Htt. of Leir, l'alentine and Orson, and Robin Hod (Hist. Stage, 89, 4oo). 
 Phillips's Tbeatrurn Poetarum. 
 Grosart in Engliscbe Stud. XXII. (896). 
r See under ' Young Juvenall" below. 



Robert Greene 419 

do hOt seem at this, or any previous period, to have owned any of 
the unquestioned plays of Robert G,eene. Henslowe does hot 
mark this one • new,' and the dramatic contents give no indication 
of its date, save that one of the dramatk personoe refers to Tam- 
berlaine) No light is thrown upon the authorship b)" contempo- 
rary publications; and, as late as Kirkman's Catalogue, ,66, the 
play was still anonymous. It has been assigned to Greene on the 
manuscript evidence which has already been shown to be inconclu- 
sivefl" l, the last resort our decision must depend upon the detec- 
tion of Greenian characteristics, l)r. XVard has observed that the 
play possesses "one of Greene's most attractive notes,-- a native 
Eglish freshness of colouring,"--glimpses of which may also be 
had in Friar Bacon and ".ïames I1: This is true. The representa- 
tion of the characters, manners, and speech of the middle and lower 
classes is such as might have contributed to Cettle's estimate 
of the dramatist,--" the onlv comedian of a vulgar writer in this 
country."  In the "plotting," aiso, of the play, no ordinarv skill is 
evinced, and that is the «quality," says Nashe, wherein Greene 
was toaster of his craft. 4 The materiai is a popular story, like the 
material of Friar Bacon. One of the incidents, indeed, existed hot 
only in the popular story, but in the experience of Robert Greene 
as weli.  The rhetoricai style here and there affords an inkling of 
this " very supporter " of native comedv : a word that seems to be 
his,  a phrase or trick of the tongue,; a figure or two, s occasionallv 
a bejewelled verse,  and once, at ieast, a sentiment, 
'" The sweet content of men that lire in love 
Breeds ti'etting humours in a restless mind." 
But in Greene's undoubted productions the Greenian attributes are 
h